My favorite part of working with early-stage B2B companies is finding the first customers. I’m continuously engaging with buyers so that I can help match new founders to their design partners.
I love engaging with founders at the pre-idea stage, helping them validate their hypothesis and decide if their vision for a company is viable. To do that, I spend a lot of time with their would-be customers. I am constantly talking to different buyers at various enterprise companies asking what they are looking for, what they’ve evaluated, and what their pain points are. That puts me in a position to help founders think about who their first customers could be and what an MVP might look like to achieve those key early wins. Once they have those first customers, I work with founders on expanding that circle and making the process repeatable.
Recently, I’ve been working with a number of our enterprise-focused AI companies on how to approach customers by helping them answer a series of questions: how scoped down should the trial be? What does this customer care about? How long should it take to prove value? These aren’t obvious answers for most early companies, and the answer changes from customer to customer. The time I spend with prospective customers helps me design approaches that foster long-term customer relationships and healthy growth.
I love the impact and scale of investing in B2B businesses. I’m drawn to the fact that end users often face clear and immediate pain points, yet the solutions aren’t always obvious or available. Creating software that transforms the way organizations operate requires a founder who possesses a unique blend of empathy and strong conviction. Striking the delicate balance between attentively listening to customers and pursuing their own vision, to push for further insights, or to transition to the next product or larger customer are all challenges I hope to assist with. I aim to work with talented founders as a thought partner and sounding board to help answer these questions and more.
Growing the network
One of the things that drew me to Greylock is the opportunity to build new initiatives that expand the firm’s impact. In early 2022, I launched our Scout program, through which we invite top angel investors to form a special relationship with Greylock. It’s a win-win that expands our reach and offers scouts the resources – both financial and tribal knowledge – to further their investments in the startup ecosystem. Scouts join us in cohorts that help build community, and bring us domain expertise and operational excellence. In 18 months, the program has grown to include 35 Scouts across three cohorts, investing in over 100 early startups —and we’re just getting started.
I also built Greylock’s Edge program. It’s a company-building program where we seek out promising founders and ideas at the earliest stages, and work with them to get those ideas off the ground. Historically, Greylock has had lots of success helping founders initiate companies. For example, Workday and Palo Alto Networks both started in our offices, and more recent examples include Abnormal Security and Tome. This program is a way to operationalize the lessons of those successes into a repeatable program. We do it without taking any equity up front. It’s a higher integrity way of working with founders to help shape their ideas from the ground up.
Greylock’s First Researcher In Residence
Mapping the Cloud Ecosystem
How We Built Castles in the Cloud
Funding The Cloud Challengers
Top VC Financing Trends Since 2019
BNPL for Businesses
The Potential for Better Access to Business Payment Financing
The Product-Led Growth Expansion Pack