Thank you Ezra Galston for the intro to today's guest, Nikhil Basu Trivedi. Nikhil previously was the managing director of Shasta ventures and writes The Next Big Thing, which is an awesome online publication. Some of his investments include Literati, Tally, Canva, Farmer's Dog and The Pill Club. His focus has been on consumer, particularly consumer subscription businesses, which was the main focus on today's conversation.
Check out Nikhil's three part series about consumer subscription - Consumer Subscriptions, 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Consumer Subscriptions, and The Farmer's Dog: A Consumer Subscription Case Study.
A couple books that inspired Nikhil are Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson and Michael Moritz.
Highly recommend following Nikhil on Twitter @nbt. You can also follow your host, Mike, on Twitter @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.
Here are some of the questions that I ask him:
- What are the shortcomings of advertising and marketplace type businesses?
- Why has it taken this long for subscription businesses to take off?
- What is the one factor that you think is often overlooked in a subscription business?
- What are the similarities between physical subscription businesses and software subscription businesses?
- What are some questions that a founder should ask him or herself to help him or her decide which would be the best option for the business as it pertains to trial periods?
- In your 10 factors framework, are there particular factors that actually are more important than others?
- How do you think about blue oceans and new markets when analyzing opportunities?
- What initially attracted you to venture capital and technology?
- Tell me about your due diligence process.
- Has it been hard to establish conviction amongst founders while meeting with them remotely?
- What’s your favorite question to ask founders?
- What’s one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital?
- What’s one company on your anti-portfolio and what was the reason why you passed?
- What’s one piece of advice for founders building subscription businesses?