June 5, 2020

088: Money Talks #15: Digital VC, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk

088: Money Talks #15: Digital VC, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk

IIn this week's Money Talks segment, Pete Townsend and Eoin Fitzgerald dive into the difference between video and live interactions between startups and their investors, the role of Twitter and Facebook as arbiters of the truth, a look back at the demographics from the first two years of this podcast and the monumental inspiration from spaceflight.

This episode is kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists, Top Tier Recruitment.  If you would like an intro to the team at Top Tier Recruitment, please click here.

In this episode, Eoin and Pete dig into pieces of content from this week that are relevant to the cosmic cloud of startups, tech, venture deals and enterprise in which they live. The stories covered in this week's episode include:

  • ‘Video is fine’: venture capitalists find the benefits in digital due diligence (FT, 3rd June 2020, paywall)
    • What is it about human nature that makes VCs want to meet someone face to face? Facial gestures?  The cut of their jibe? What they say to their colleagues (or not say) when passing them in the hallway on the way to the meeting room?
    • What are we potentially missing from the pre-investment decision-making by not being able to meet in person?  The lockdown will ease, but by ditching the in-person demands?
    • What about the post-investment phase, i.e. the next 5-10 years of the relationship between a founder and a VC?
  • Facebook, Twitter and Trump: The terrifying war on truth (Decrypt, 2nd June 2020)
    • What’s Jack Dorsey from Twitter thinking? Following his moral compass or making a commercial move?
    • What’s Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook thinking?  Deal with the devil or an ideological resistance to warning labels?
  • A look back at the first 2 years of the MoneyNeverSleeps podcast:
    • Guest demographics: 60% Startup Founders - 26% Startup ‘Ecosystem’ - 12% Venture Capitalists - 3% Intrapreneurs
    • Topics covered:  39% Fintech - 32% Tech - 17% Blockchain & Crypto - 10% Human Interest
    • Where we need to get better:  70/30 Male/Female split of guests - room to improve!
    • Listeners from 80 countries, but 46% of trackable downloads from Ireland
    • Chartable stats: Top 20 in Ireland (covering global podcasts) for Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Multiple viewpoints on the massive achievement of SpaceX and Elon Musk this week with the advent of commercial spaceflight and the 'mission of a mission' to deliver Earthlings to Mars.   

Soundbites include:

  • Eoin on virtual due diligence with startup investing: "You're missing a lot of those cues on personality traits and human behavior by doing your due diligence over Zoom."
  • Pete on how founders interact with their team: "It's always a good judge of a person to see how a founder interacts with their colleagues when they pass them in the hallway on the walk to the meeting room with a VC.  Does the founder stop and say hello, or do they glare at the team like, 'Look, I'm having a very important discussion with an investor and I can't talk to anybody!'".
  • Eoin on startup culture as a cue:  "You get to see the culture of the business when you're walking through the place, and you'll see how people react to the CEO or founding team.  It's tough to pick up on any of that without going to their office, and you certainly won't be able to pick up on that with a camera on the founder's head or whatever."
  • Pete on 'A Team / B Product' context: "The rule of thumb is that you're better off investing in an 'A' Team with a 'B' Product over a 'B' Team with an 'A' Product.  With video due diligence it can sometimes be difficult to discern between an 'A' Team and a 'B' Team."
  • Referencing Scott Galloway and his Prof G podcast: "When your shareholder value has gone up 10x like Facebook's has, they can do whatever the hell they want." 

Also, see below for Pete's and Eoin's latest reads referenced on the show:

To listen to more, please visit https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/ for all of our other episodes.  Also, follow us on Twitter @MNSShow, @PeteTownsendNV and @EoinFitzgerald9 for updates and more information.

Finally, If you'd like an intro to Pete, please click here.  If you'd like an intro to Eoin, please click here.

Pete TownsendProfile Photo

Pete Townsend


Web3 & fintech investor, MD @Techstars Web3, founder of Norio Ventures, mentor, non-executive director, podcaster and bad guitar player.

Eoin FitzgeraldProfile Photo

Eoin Fitzgerald


Fintech investor, podcaster, wannabe VC