Kevin Rose – Partner at Google Ventures, Co-Founder of Digg

Show Notes: Kevin Rose

  • Co-founded Revision3, Digg, Pownce, and Milk
  • Partner at Google Ventures
  • Early investor at Twitter
  • Former production assistant/co-host at Tech TV

Success of Apps/Tech Companies

  • Likes the experience of seeing early stages of promising tech companies: Instagram, Pinterest–a follower of new projects.
  • Used to want to join a company because of its aggressive, take-charge founder but now looks at how founders work to develop their product and use original thinking.
  • New, original, exciting ideas that people will want are products that will take off, in contrast to products that are simply a twist on already existing products.
  • Likes consumer-based, small, social apps–especially ones he would use personally.
  • Apps have more potential to become popular if people would likely use it 2-3 times a day, use it as a habit.
  • With new apps or products like Google Glass, know that it’s only the beta, clunkier version in its early stages before the product is refined/improved and modified so that more people can use it.
  • Do people have to move to San Francisco to succeed with startups? Networking and riffing off of other people in the same field is the real value in living in SF to work on a startup company.
  • Founders should think less about the endgame (not thinking about how hard it actually is to get there) or selling it; the difficult part is in the middle and you have to be happy with what you’re building. You should be passionate about your business, otherwise it won’t grow and you won’t be happy.

Habits of Entrepreneurship

  • Needed to figure out how to properly structure a business, understanding/learning things he didn’t know–who to hire, business aspects, etc. that are easily swept away.
  • More difficult to understand how everything should come together in the right way when he delegated/outsourced too many tasks and hiring responsibilities to other people, instead of taking it all on himself and learning what would work for the company as a whole.
  • Make sure you have the right people in the right roles so that they can succeed; you will all succeed. Kept the team small and efficient with Milk.
  • Surround yourself with the right mentors, ask for help from the right people who you know and trust. Don’t expose your vulnerabilities with the people who are writing your checks.
  • When you are at the higher positions of a company, understand that people won’t know everything right away.
  • Works as a Swiss Army knife–lots of deep knowledge about different areas.