A couple of weeks back I did an interview with Abadesi Osunsade from Product Hunt. We discussed a number of themes close to my heart, including the future of venture, Forward Partners culture and the power of mindfulness practice.
Embed here, and more detail of what we discussed below. (Originally published on Product Hunt last week.)
In this episode they talk about…
The future of venture capital and the concept of “applied venture”
“Why stop at having a few people on payroll to help your portfolio companies succeed? Why not find a way to have as many as possible? That allows you to help your portfolio companies with many more things, offer better service, and that should see the companies go on to achieve greater results.”
Nic gives us a history of the waves of venture capital since the early 2000s and explains how firms have evolved over time to better serve founders. He talks about the new trend in the industry — what they call “applied venture.” He explains what it is and how it is having an impact on founders and companies.
The culture at Forward Partners
“When we think about our culture, on the one hand we’re trying to reflect what we have currently so that it feels authentic and on the other, we’re trying to stretch ourselves to what we want to be tomorrow.”
Nic says that at Forward Partners they look up to characters who inspire and inform their work. He explains why they chose Indiana Jones, Yoda, and Leonardo Da Vinci as the three individuals who capture what they want to be at Forward.
Nic’s introduction to mindfulness
“It was totally the wrong time of year to go to India. I arrived at the New Dehli airport and there was a sign up in the airport with the temperature, 44 degrees centigrade at 1 o’clock in the morning.”
Nic explains how he became an advocate for mindfulness after having a hesitant start and shares the funny story of going to India during the hottest months to meditate at an ashram.
The benefits of mindfulness for founders
“There was a biotech company that ran an 8-week mindfulness course for their employees. After eight weeks they did MRI scans and the happiness centres in the people who had been on the mindfulness course were noticeably more active.”
After Nic became a mindfulness convert, he didn’t stop at how it could help him in his work, he looked also to how it could have a positive impact on the founders he works with as well. He explains some of the benefits to the practice and talks about some of the programs they have been putting on for founders to help them get in the habit.
What he’s most excited about in the tech ecosystem
“Really what’s most exciting for me is the way that the startup ecosystem is growing and growing. The world is changing faster and faster and we have bigger and bigger problems to solve and it’s entrepreneurs who are going to be solving those problems for us on a global level.“
He talks about some of the tech trends happening now that he loathes and loves, and explains what they look for when they’re evaluating a potential investment for the impact it would have on the world.
Nic also shares some of his favorite products and explains why he was initially an Apple skeptic but has since become a fan.
We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. 😸
Companies and Products Mentioned In This Episode
7Geese — Social performance management tool.
Apple Watch — The most personal device Apple has ever created.
Simple Habit — Meditation for people who never have time.
Small Improvements — Help your employees grow and succeed.
Wager — Bet against your friends.