Interview Guest: Nick Moran (@TheFullRatchet)
What is New Stack Ventures?: New Stack is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in IoT, Deep Tech, Smart Hardware, Marketplaces / Platforms, and Under-Capitalized Markets / Geographies. Portfolio companies include Draftbit, Curv, and Flamingo (check out the full portfolio, here).
What is The Full Ratchet?: The Full Ratchet is “the 1st Podcast dedicated to demystifying Venture Capital.” Since starting The Full Ratchet in 2014, Nick has interviewed ~400 investors including Mark Suster, Jason Calacanis, Mamoon Hamid, Semil Shah, Cyan Banister, and Richard Kerby (my former boss 😁).
Quick Note: This interview was recorded via a phone call between Nick and Michael in early August.
(Massive thanks to Andy Cloyd for connecting me with Nick!)
Michael’s favorite quotes from the interview:
On New Stack Ventures focus: “We like to get involved at company formation, and we like to lead deals as the first institutional check invested…. The standard formula of Stanford educated, Google trained, Bay Area-located, young, male, and technical is not what we're looking for. We believe in mission-driven founders with an irrational commitment to their cause — regardless of location or circumstance.”
On investing in the Midwest: “If you're investing in the Midwest, you really can't just focus on one city and build a portfolio. There's not a critical mass of startups in one city to build a top decile fund. So, you need to cast a broader net, which changes the dynamic for investing….You don't get the same sort of benefits of proximity and networks as you would in San Francisco. You really have to refine your thesis, refine your investment process, and be comfortable with investing over Zoom and meeting people over video or over the phone, like we're doing now.”
On starting The Full Ratchet: “…the same can be applied when it comes to networking. I asked myself the question, “How do you get orders-of-magnitude more benefit out of your efforts to connect with folks?” And so, I needed a one to many platform, and it had to be quality content.”
On breaking into venture: “But, in terms of getting a job in the industry, and I think Bill Gurley said it best, you have to figure out where to specialize and then you have to prove that you have better knowledge than others in that area.”
And, my favorite quote: “You can't change your IQ. You can't become the smartest person overnight. But, you can change your earned knowledge and if you have more knowledge than the next guy or gal, you're set up much better to succeed.”