Village Global's Venture Stories

Village Global's Venture Stories

Village Global's Venture Stories takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg. Check us out on the web at for more.


August 9, 2022 59 min
Joel Monegro (@jmonegro), partner at Placeholder, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways:

- Every financial asset is a contract between two or more people. The world economy is basically a set of contracts on a ledger.

- A smart contract is like an API, but on-chain, so it can’t be taken down. In many cases, not even the developers can retract a smart contract.

- Value capture and value accrual are two different things — capture is...
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Steve Blank (@sgblank), creator of Hacking For Defense and author of 4 Steps To The Epiphany, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways:

- The secret history of Silicon Valley is that it emerged from the government’s desire to develop advanced technology and weapons in universities during World War II.

- Stanford became a powerhouse in microwaves and electronics post-WWII. People were encouraged t...
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Antonio Garcia-Martinez (@antoniogm), author of The Pull Request, joins Erik Torenberg and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:

- The first version of ads on the web, banner ads, looked like ads in the newspaper, because often the new version of media looks like the last version of media — that’s skeuomorphism.

- Apple’s app tracking transparency is breaking the model for Facebook and Snap.

- Antonio says there won’t be a medi...
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Avichal Garg (@avichal), founder of Electric Capital, joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways:

- Downturns impact large companies much more than founders and early stage investors because the companies are so small relative to their total addressable market.

- Managing your own psychology in a downturn is the most important skill for a founder in these times.

- Crypto is like a platypus — it has properties of growth tech, a store of...
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Jeff Morris Jr. (@jmj), investor at Chapter One, joins Erik Torenberg and co-host Ian Cinnamon. Takeaways:

- Jeff realized the power of subscriptions during his time at Tinder. He says that digital goods are an even better version of subscriptions.

- Web3 is almost entirely missing mobile usability.

- Crypto apps could add a reputation layer to existing Web2 use cases, like dating apps.

- People are still using Web 2.0 community pr...
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Cooper Turley (@Cooopahtroopa) joins Erik on this episode. Takeaways:

- Cooper believes that in 5-10 years music streaming will all be happening on chain.

- Cooper cares much more about where culture is happening and where people are spending their time than about underlying technology.

- DAOs need to prove that they can help people ship products better than private groups. They may not replace Microsoft but they can mobilize peop...
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AJ Piplica (@AJ_Piplica), founder and CEO of Hermeus, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:

- Every time there has been an acceleration in the speed of transportation in history, high GDP growth has followed.

- A switch to hypersonic transportation would unlock $4T in growth.

- In the future the key differentiator in air travel will be speed, rather than comfort.

- It’s currently extremely expensive to do f...
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Mike Shebat (@mike_sheb), co-founder and CEO of Traba, joins Erik Torenberg and Lucas Bagno on this episode. Takeaways:

- There is a huge problem with meeting demand for workers at warehouses and fulfilment centres. There are 75% more jobs in those fields after the pandemic.

- Mike worked in warehousing and helped scale UberEats so has strong founder-market fit. Traba’s mission of connecting people to work is very meaningful to h...
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Peter Newell (@PeterANewell), CEO of BMNT, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways:

- Peter was “handed the Ferrari of skunkworks” when he came to be in charge of the Rapid Equipping Force. It was a program that handled over a billion dollars to deploy new technologies.

- He became more of an entrepreneur after his time at the REF and that led to starting BMNT.

- Often times procurement in the US...
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JD Ross (@justindross) and Justin Blau (@3LAU), co-founders of Royal, join Erik Torenberg and co-host Ian Cinnamon for this episode of our web3 series. Takeaways:

- Royal stems from their vision to invest in talent early on.

- Streaming increased by 60-70x in about 5 years from 2015 on.

- The barrier to entry for artists is much lower — they no longer need a studio, they just need a laptop.

- Royal is trying to enable the fan-a...
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Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg), co-founder and general partner at Village Global and co-founder and co-CEO of On Deck join Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways:

- Startups are the most effective organizations for solving our biggest problems.

- Startups disproportionately contribute to economic growth.

- Governments and startups need to work together, not against each other.

- China has the GDP per ...
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Tushar Jain (@TusharJain_), co-founder and managing partner of Multicoin Capital, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:

- The history of crypto over the last several years and the various moments that different technologies like Bitcoin, NFTs, tokens, and others have had.

- What the world looks like if the predictions for crypto’s impact comes true.

- Why Tushar thinks that Ethereum has gone past the point of diminishing returns ...
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James “Hondo” Geurts, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:

- What kept Hondo up at night was that there was a good idea out there that wasn’t passed on to him and thus wasn’t used on the battlefield.

- A society can’t be secure without prosperity and can’t have prosperity without security.

- The challenge for startups working wi...
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Haseeb Qureshi (@hosseeb), managing partner at Dragonfly Capital, joins Erik for an episode of our Web3 series. Takeaways:

- This bear market is driven by macro factors rather than endogenous ones.

- It turns out crypto is in fact correlated with other assets, largely because in 2020 institutions started buying crypto.

- Projects searching for yield in a yield-starved environment drove growth in crypto. That may change with risin...
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- The narrative that China can do no wrong and why Noah says it is out of date at this point.

- The long-term headwinds that China is facing, including demographic changes, resource limitations, and real estate challenges.

- Why America should raise tariffs on anything made in China where it would be strategically important for those goods to be made somewhere else.

- The state of real estate in China, including the fact that China’s ...
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Kyle Samani (@kylesamani), co-founder and managing partner at Multicoin Capital, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:

- How crypto enables people to coordinate and set up things in the physical world, as with the Helium project.

- The shift in Ethereum over the last 24 months and why he says they need to re-think their product development process and shift away from its prior ideological underpinnings to get to a billion users.

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Jacob Helberg (@jacobhelberg), foreign policy expert and author of The Wires of War, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon to discuss:

- Why he says peace through trade was the biggest foreign policy miscalculation in US history.

- How US companies have approached operating in China and why Jacob would advise them to proactively work to decouple themselves from the Chinese market.

- Why Jacob would prefer that American laws change to...
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Tyler Cowen (@tylercowen) is an economist, professor, and best-selling author. His latest book, Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World, written with co-author Daniel Gross, is available now. Tyler discusses how to discover undervalued talent, the importance of stamina, the best interview questions, peer ratings, late bloomers, and more.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please...
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Geoff Lewis (@GeoffLewisOrg), founder at Bedrock, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon to discuss:

- His thoughts on the markets and the advice he has for founders operating in a market like this one.

- What is driving financial nihilism and how it has changed society.

- Why he’s only investing in founders where their company is their life’s work.

- Bedrock’s investments in hardware and companies making things in the physical world.

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May 26, 2022 53 min
Bilal Zuberi (@bznotes), partner at Lux Capital, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon to discuss:

- Bilal’s investing thesis of finding companies building solutions to interesting problems that impact a lot of people.

- Why he’s investing in space and defense companies.

- What keeps him up at night and how his investments are working on those areas.

- Why he’s optimistic about unifying America.

- How to solve the problem of different ...
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