We are joined by Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner on Benchmark, talking his investment philosophies, enterprise technology trends, and the uniqueness of Benchmark. How is this firm with only five partners and no associates so repeatably successful? Chetan shares the story of his very first investment, MongoDB, and lessons learned from his other investments and board positions in Elastic, Sketch, Duffel, Mulesoft, and many others.
Chetan also helps us understand how he balances staying open-minded enough to let founders shape his vision of the future (and not the other way around), while staying educated on areas where he thinks the future is bright.
“The product/market fit question, I don’t find to be a conclusive one…because one of the assumptions is that you’re assuming the market itself is constant, which we all know is not true. Today’s product/market fit might be tomorrow’s outdated solution.” – Chetan Puttagunta, @chetanp
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[00:00] – Show intro and introduction of Chetan Puttagunta
[05:00] – Operations at Benchmark
[09:20] – How does Benchmark choose where they invest?
[11:20] – Product/Market Fit
[14:50] – Themes, Theses, and Trends and being flexible in investing
[20:32] – How to educate yourself on emerging markets
[29:00] – Enterprise Investing
[34:55] – Thoughts on being a VC vs Entrepreneur, and investing in Enterprise
[44:05] – What Chetan wants to improve
[47:09] – “Two-Sport” athletes at Benchmark
People Worth Knowing:
Companies Mentioned in Episode:
Episode Specific Terms:
Learn-It-All vs Know-It-All
Leverage on Fiddling
Relational vs Non-Relational Databases
VC vs Entrepreneur
Ben and David’s Affiliations:
Wave Capital, @WaveCapitalVC
Pioneer Square Labs, @psl
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What is ACQ2: The Acquired Interviews?
ACQ2 is Ben and David's conversations with expert founders and investors. Acquired the stories of great companies — and ACQ2 dives deeper into the lessons we can learn from them, often with the protagonists themselves.