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Product and VC: What You Need to Know – Dharmesh Raithatha

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Dharmesh Raithata on The Product Experience podcast 2

For many product people, it’s a dream to get in early at a startup — or to start their own. Unless you have the ability to bootstrap, that means you’ll need access to money, which often means working with venture capital. That can be a mysterious and scary world, so we asked Dharmesh Raithatha, CPO at Forward Partners, to join us on the podcast and give us a peek behind the curtain.

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Featured links: Follow Dharmesh on LinkedIn and TwitterForward Partners Venture Capital Explained Understanding Differences in Startup Financing Stages

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Episode transcript

Lily Smith:
Hey, Randy. So I just read Clubhouse is in the process of completing another funding round, which values the company at 4 billion U.S. dollars, that’s pretty impressive.

Randy Silver:
Yeah. It’ll be more impressive if they find a way to monetize it without alienating their new audience or at least letting those of us on Android, try it. That product team have a real challenge on their hands.

Lily Smith:
Oh, yeah. That’s true. Sounds like you’re a bit jealous there Randy?

Randy Silver:
You know I did that thing once a long time ago and I prefer working in later stage companies. So no, not so jealous, but really interested to see how it all goes.

Lily Smith:
And if you want to hear more about working in a startup that’s VC backed and what it’s like to work as a chief product officer for a VC, then you’re in the right place, because we are talking today to Dharmesh Raithatha.

Randy Silver:
Yeah. Dharmesh is the chief product officer at Forward Partners, a UK based VC, and we’re going to talk to him right now.

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——

Lily Smith:
Hi, Dharmesh. Welcome to the podcast. It’s so lovely to have you join us this evening.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Hi Lily, Randy, it’s great to be here.

Lily Smith:
So before we get stuck into our topic today, give us a real quick intro into who you are and what you do and how you got into product.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Wow. Okay. Yeah. Am Dharmesh Raithatha, I’m currently chief product officer at Forward Partners. We’re an early stage VC firm and I got into tech 20 years ago after studying AI because I wanted to build Tamagotchi pets, it’s the reason why I studied AI in the first place, and luckily for the first part of my career, I actually did. I worked for a games company, made a game called Creatures 2, alongside lots of other talented people and then worked for another company building little Tamagotchis that run on your desktop. And then also worked at Masu Monsters where we built Tamagotchis for little children. So I actually spent quite a bit of my time building Tamagotchis and made the transition from developer to product while at the BBC actually, when I was at BBC.

And then had been doing that for the last 15 odd years as a product manager. When I promoted from agile project manager to a development producer, was what they’re called at the BBC, and didn’t know what the hell I was doing and then read Marty Cagan [inaudible 00:03:40], and he talks about product management and I was like, “Wow, someone’s actually talking about what I’m doing.” And then I copied everything that he said in his blog and it all worked and I was like, “This is what I want to do [inaudible 00:03:53].”

Lily Smith:
Amazing. And now you’re a chief product officer at a VC firm. So tell us about how that came about and how that works.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So on my journey, most of my time I spent any of the startups or big corporations like the BBC doing product, I’ve also had a couple of startups, myself. One we failed miserably and I got oversight that I’ve had for the rest of my life. And the second one I did a little bit better and managed to sell the company. And when I left Masu Monsters, so I was working at Masu Monsters, which grew from like a 20 person company to 300 people in the space of three years and got to really see a high growth startup. When I left there, I was thinking what to do next. I’d love to early stage startups, that was my passion. I just had a child and I was like, “Well, early start ups are quite risky. You don’t get paid as much. You get equity later on.”

I got introduced to the managing partner at Forward Partners just literally as they were starting. And he had this new model which we’re going to invest in companies and we’re going to have a team to support them and we’re going to invest really early. And I joined them as a consultant for six months, because I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do this.” And he was like, “I don’t know if we need you, why don’t we come and try it out?”

He had all the background in VC and investment, but when we got the first companies to work with, it was like, “Well, what do we do? How do we help them?” And the experience that I had was perfect, because the ability to empathise with early stage founders because I’ve been through that journey alongside the product skills of seeing it go through growth. The first companies we worked with, they all worked, they raised money, they grew, they keep growing and within six months he asked me to be a partner in the firm, which I thought about for a few minutes and then I said, “Yes, that’s a fantastic opportunity,” to marry my love of early stage startups with a different risk profile as well, because you get paid differently, you still get upside because you carry in the fund, so it ticked all the boxes for me. So yeah, that’s how I ended up there and I’ve been here for about seven and a half years now. Literally, when it first started, now on to our second funds where we raised 60 million and growing strong. Yeah, it’s really been a really fun journey.

Lily Smith:
How would you describe the VC stage? You said that Forward Partners tends to invest early, is there a particular time at which a startup would bring in a VC and is there a changing… You mentioned about it’s not just about bringing the money, but also bringing this team of experts as well. Do you feel like that’s like, in my experience VCs tend to do this more frequently now, is this a model which has been adopted by a lot more VCs these days?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So I think there’s definitely been an evolution in VC. In the early days it was people with mahogany desks with lots of money and they held all the power, whereas now that’s changed. There’s lots more funds, everyone’s competing to attract the best founders to build their startups. And that means they’ve moved from, “Hey, we’ve got the money, do you want it?” To more of a service. It’s a service that we’re offering. Money, is just one part of it.

There’s the capital of course, then there’s network which is the next piece of the puzzle. You have to introduce it to people, to other investors. There’s obviously the advice that you can get from advisors. Then you see some amazing funds like First Round in the U.S. where they’ve created amazing content to really help and that’s another way to attract founders to them. Now you see the last piece of the puzzle is capability. So you’ve got Andreessen Horowitz in the U.S. where they are hiring a lot of practitioners, partners, that have all been there and done it, and really have a lot of support to give to the startups, and Forward Partners is trying to follow that model where we have a team of product growth, designers, technologists, talent, everything that a very early stage startup founder would need. Not because they’re not able to do it themselves, but because they recognise that they just want to do it faster. And in the early stages, it’s difficult to hire someone like me when you might not need me full time, but to have me involved is very valuable. And it also allows us to invest earlier because it means that we, in some ways mitigate a little bit of product risk and technology risk, because we know that there’s experienced people that can help get it going in the right direction. That’s one change that I’ve seen. The other one is, Forward Partners when we first started, most VCs would either invest at seed and Series A, which is, products are already out in the market, there’s already a team, there’s already growth, which it seeds and then beyond. We started investing at pre-seed, which was, I guess back in the old days was a founder with a deck, that at the time was quite difficult to find that money, and it still is to be honest, to be fair, it still is difficult to go and get someone to give you 500,000 pounds when you’ve just got a deck, even accelerators typically will say you wouldn’t need to have a bit of a product and a team. So that was novel at the time. And what’s happened more recently, I think is the introduction of talent first VCs, entrepreneur first and [inaudible 00:10:15], where they’ve gone even earlier and getting good results as well. So there’s been lots of evolution I think in the VC game. I think there’s still more to go, but you definitely see a trend of everyone’s having to work harder and therefore having to develop more value, which is great for founders.

Lily Smith:
Yeah.

Randy Silver:
So if that’s the case and if I’m a product person who wants to go work at a VC, it sounds really exciting. There’s the chance to work with exciting companies and to see lots of different things. What do we need to know? So let’s start off with something very simple, from leaving the job I’m in, what’s the compensation model like? Am I on salary? Do I have participation? Do I get stock? What does it look like?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So I guess firstly, there are no clear routes into VC. There aren’t many product related roles because there aren’t many VCs that have this high value add model. But even the few that do, generally they’ll have one or two people in their organisation. So it’s not an easy route. There’s not many opportunities. But if you can get in and I’d say to get in having experience founding a startup is super valuable, not just being a product person in an organisation unless you’ve been there and done it at a very high level, I think that my experience of having done it was extremely valuable. And in terms of compensation, it’s a bit like a startup in that instead of equity, you get carry in the fund. So the way that funds work is let’s say for example, a fund has got a hundred million pound fund, what they would like to deliver a good outcome for a VC is that they can return three times that money back to the investors. And then the way that the fund works is that they get 20% of that profit to divide between it’s staff basically. And then that gets divvied out depending on the seniority of the people. So it’s equivalent of equity, but it’s called carry.

Good startups generally take 10 years before they exit. Some go faster, I’d say when you work in a fund, it generally takes at least 10 years before you start to see money coming back out. Whereas with a startup, you might get lucky and hit one that goes crazy. But in time you are having a diversified portfolio, so you know I don’t have equity in any one company, I have carry in the fund that’s invested in lots of different startups. And so in some ways that’s the nice…
Right now we’ve got a portfolio of 60 companies, so I can always Google, “Oh, I wonder how this company is doing. And I wonder how this company’s doing.” When I used to work in a startup, you’d always Google your own startup [inaudible 00:13:21]. Now it’s like time 60, so that’s a lot of effort.
Then in terms of salary wise, it competes with a good Series A/Series B startup, that’s where you’d be expected to place yourself.

Lily Smith:
Okay. And then on the flip side of that, if you’re going to work for a venture backed startup, or you’re looking for investment, having worked within a VC, what do you think people should look for in a VC firm?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. And are you talking about going in as a product person going into a startup or as a product minded founder? Because they’re quite different.

Lily Smith:
I think either, because I think our listeners generally are product people, but probably some of them have aspirations to found their own businesses at some point or are doing it already.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So if you’re a product person wanting to found a company and do a startup, when you look at VCs, there’s a whole load of different criteria you look at, do they invest at the stage that you’re interested in? Is one. What other companies have they invested in? That helps because if they’ve invested in companies, whether it’s similar to vertical or similar in the product you’re building, it means that they understand what you’re building and what you’re trying to achieve. I’d definitely say a big one is like, do they share your vision? And I’m talking about this is more early stage startups. There’s so many unknowns, so many things that you won’t have answers to and I think it’s important to work with investors that understand that stage that you’re working in and understand that you’re not going to have all the answers and they’re more interested in your approach in tackling them and the vision that you’re going after, because that journey is never a simple one. So I think that’s really important.
I think this is the interesting one is like, do you go for a VC that is just backed through unicorns and has a massive portfolio? Or do you back a new venture fund that may not have that, but might work harder for you? I think that’s a difficult one. The fact that a fund has backed unicorns before, and then they back you, that’s a signal to the market that you are also a potential unicorn, but at the same time, you may not get the same amount of their time as a new fund. In a way it’s just like, should you become a customer of an early stage startup when they’re right at the beginning, you get this amazing service, they really work hard for you.
So I think those are two different ends of the spectrum and it’s worth thinking about those, but I think the big ones are, do you get on with whoever’s going to sit on your boards and the people in the team? Because ultimately you are taking on a big relationship as a 10 year relationship. And do they believe in your vision? I think these are really important pieces.

Randy Silver:
Let’s do that one from the other side as well. So one of the things that comes up again and again, is all startups have a product person as a founder because they may not be an actual product person, but a founder’s acting with that vision and taking on that role. But at a certain point, the founder usually has to make a decision about what job they actually want. And it can’t always be the chief product officer, if it is, they need to hire other people to help them build out their team. So when should they make that decision? When do you hire your first product person and what things should you be looking for at that stage?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So even if you’re an amazing product person as a founder of a company, the reality is you’re going to be wearing a lot of different hats. You’re going to be out fundraising. You’re going to be building out the team, the culture, there’s lots of other pieces that you’re going to have to spend time on, and so it becomes increasingly difficult to be as close to the customer as you were initially. Typically, you’ll see at the seed stage, definitely a Series A, that it becomes increasingly difficult for a founder to the CEO, to be clear, because you might be a founding pair and then that might be easier to say actually one of the founders is going to be the CPO type person and say much closer to the product, but definitely someone has to be responsible for the other stuff, like making sure that the company is going to survive in us capital, et cetera. Because that’s a big amount of effort, but yeah, typically seed Series A, they might have hired already a senior product manager or a junior product manager, like with any team, as soon as you’ve got three or four developers, someone has to be there to make sure that they can do their job and do it well and work with the team to make all that happen.
But then there comes that next phase of founder says, “I’m no longer close enough to the problem because I have to do all this other pieces. I need to bring in a head of product or someone like that to take over.” Well, to take over is an interesting word I use there, depends on the founder. I hear this a lot, product minded founders are scared to bring in a head of products. They’re like, “Oh, does that mean I won’t get involved in product anymore?” And actually I had a conversation about this with a founder recently and I was like, “Of course, you’re going to still be involved in the vision of the product and the direction and the strategic direction. You just won’t have to care about whether that button is going to be working or not, or is there a bug or not. That’s not your job.” A good head of product will come in and be able to help you work with you on strategic product vision, but also deal with all the details which you won’t be there to handle.

Or you might be a founder that doesn’t really have that product inclination and that becomes an easier decision. I think the interesting one is for the potential head of products is what startup do you want to join? Do you want to join a startup where the CEO is very product minded and wants to have a big say in the product direction and wants you to execute. And that can happen and that’s a different, versus the founder who says, “Hey, I want to be involved, but really I want you to take this on and own the vision for the product.” I know what I would want to join, which is I want to [inaudible 00:20:41] more safe, but you get other people that are more like, “I’m happy for that to happen, and what I want to do is make sure is this team is delivering the best it can.”

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I always think it’s a real shame with the founders who are more product minded that they can just bring in an employee that can do all of the fundraising. I’ve worked with a few different founders who their fundraising takes up so much time and you’re trying to start a business, but actually you’re spending a lot time just fundraising and talking to investors and everything. So it’s a shame that you can’t outsource that part of it and carry on focusing on the products.

—–

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah, it’s a shame, but at the same time if you’re the investor, who are you investing in?

Lily Smith:
Yeah, exactly. You can’t outsource that. So you’ve obviously worked for a long time with early stage startups and by the sounds of it quite a few with the same number that you mentioned earlier, there must be some real key themes that you find yourself talking to startups again and again about the same challenges or problems or advice that you give them. So shed some light on what are your top tips for startups at this stage?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
At pre-seed where it’s just literally, you’ve got an idea. The biggest mantra’s we’re all product people is just get to know your customer, go out and speak to people, get underneath the hood, really understand them, and actually the bigger one is try not to build too much product, actually an interesting one is, we tend to work with quite a lot of founders that aren’t technical and so they’ll come in and their inclination is that they want build lots of products and then I come along and go, “No, we don’t want to do that.”
I know say like, if Google can build a self-driving car, I’m really not worried about the technical risk. For most startups the technical risk is a lot lower than what the founder thinks because they’re not technical. The biggest risk is that we’ve built the wrong thing in the first place. So let’s use all the design thinking methods that we can use. Let’s be lean and let’s make sure that we’re in the right direction before we start going crazy.

And this is the interesting one, this is the one that I learned actually being in VC is, with effort you can make any company get some customers and get a little bit of growth. But you can see quite early on once you’ve got the pattern recognition of looking at so many deals coming through and so many companies that if you keep going in this direction, it’s going to be a struggle all the way through. And so that’s the hard core. When you’re working on a company, of course you put in effort, you hustle and you will get some momentum, you’ll get a little bit, but you might have picked an idea that’s not going to be a venture scale, it’s not going to be big enough. And to basically recognise that change direction and start experimenting away from it, I think that is one of the big values what I’ve learned, because I just had the opportunity to see so many companies, I can start to now say, “Hey, change direction now, you’re going to waste a lot of time.”

Randy Silver:
I heard someone the other day called that bad growth. And they said the only problem is that you can only identify it in retrospect. Are there any warning signs that you should be looking out for that might give you early indicators for that?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah, there’s anaemic growth where a founder might think, “Oh, I got one customer this week and now I’ve got two next week and then it’s two again and then two again.” And every time they’re just thinking, it’s not working, they’ll get three and it’d be like, “Oh, keep going.” And I’ll be going, “It shouldn’t feel like that.” When you have created a product that even a small set of people really love, it should feel easier than this. You should get people saying, “Hey, even though it’s not perfect, I really want to use it.” Or you’re getting really positive signals, versus, you’ve had to really force someone to use the product, or you’re just working really hard and it’s not coming to you as easily. And then I’ll encourage founders to say, you’ve got to keep experimenting, keep that experimental mindset going. Don’t just think that you’ve nailed it.
And then the other signals are like, depending on the type of company, have you got enough unit economics in the business? Do your margins make sense? If you’re doing paid marketing, sometimes it’s very expensive and you believe that actually will become ROI positive, and sometimes it’s just so way out that logically, if you’ve been around the scene for a while and worked with lots of startups, you go, “We’re too far away.” You might be able to do it, but the likelihood is going to be so difficult, there’s a few signals.

Lily Smith:
And I guess on that front, if you’re a product person looking to join a startup, should you really be trying to get under the skin of where the startup is in terms of the amount of growth and the unit economics so that you can determine whether they’re onto a good thing or could it be that you end up just having to sometimes just go with your gut and then decide maybe it’s not right yet, but if I join, then I can help shape it into the direction that it needs to go in to get right.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. So I think if you’re joining a startup, the first thing you have to ask yourself is, is this a problem that I care about? If your whole motivation to join in the first place is because I’m going to become a gazillionaire, then already is that the right motivation? Hopefully, if you’re a product person you want to go in because you want to have impact and you care about that particular problem, I think that’s a valid question to ask yourself.
Having said that of course, it’s more fun if you work with a startup that is going to grow fast, because more opportunity to grow and it’s more fun, and there is some potential upside to it as well. And then I think you should ask all of those questions. You should be asking the founders, how much runway do you have left? What situation am I getting in? What are your goals to get the next funding round away? Or your next deliverable for the company? What are your unit economics? If I was interviewing for that person, I’d be super impressed and I actually find it surprising that people don’t ask those questions enough.

Randy Silver:
Which is more important in the end, is it the underlying economics of the company or the team? Which do you look for first?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. As I said, do I care about the problem? Then I would go, is the team that I’m meeting amazing? Do I get energy? Are we feeding off each other? Is this people that I could work with? Are they believable? Do they have experience in that industry? Are they talking about a big vision that I can buy into? Because that is massively important in joining a startup, like how big is the vision? Because ultimately, big visions and big markets is what you want to be joining. And then I’d say it’s momentum. Is this company growing fast? How quickly is it growing? Because those are all the same questions that a VC is going to ask. How big is the market? How impressive are the founders? And is there enough momentum that they believe that you’ve hit a rocket ship? So if you can time it to hit that point, I think that that’s a good time to join a startup.

Lily Smith:
And you mentioned there about the right questions to ask when you join a startup, what about salary and compensation? And if you get offered equity at that point, how can you judge how valuable that equity could potentially be?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
If you’re joining very early on a starter, I think it’s reasonable to ask, where do you see this company exiting? They will have some own projections of where they think they might exit, and that will help you understand their ambition and where they want to be. They might not say, or they might give you a very big number, but it’ll give you some idea of how to calculate, because if they say, we’ll give you X percentage of a company, what does that mean? Unless you understand how big they want to get and what their vision is. So if they say you get 1%, but they only want to have small ambition, that doesn’t mean very much. You also want to understand, how many funding rounds do they need to go through in order to achieve that vision because every funding round you will get diluted. So that’s another thing to think about.

And in terms of salary, I think that these days it’s becoming more common now for startups to just pay market rates because it’s so competitive. Before it used to be, “Hey, we’re going to give you equity, we’ll pay you less.” I think very early startups might do that and you can negotiate obviously your equity up, but I think the market’s so hot right now that everyone has to pay market and then the equities and upside. You will see companies follow a formula for different levels. Obviously if you’re joining a very small startup, like five, six people and you’re the first product person in, negotiate whatever you can negotiate. At that point there are no real rules. As soon as the company gets to 20 odd people, there starts to be a bit of a formula, which is, if you’re a senior level product hire, you’re working out as a company, maybe if we exit where we think we’d like to, then you would get maybe six times to 10 times your salary as a benchmark. And then obviously layers below that we’d get less. I’ve seen roughly that, yeah, if you’re a head of product and you’re going in earlier, then maybe you want to negotiate that higher, if you can.

I’ve met has the products that have joined amazing startups and they’ve got no equity whatsoever and I don’t understand it. And am like, “Well gain so much value, surely you should have…” And I think this is maybe something in the UK and Europe, in the U.S. I think everyone’s negotiating and they give more equity, because everyone understands that that’s the game. It’s not just the salary, but it’s that piece of it. Whereas I think here people are learning to have that negotiation and to understand the value as we see more and more success stories come through and so whoever’s joined delivery will be happy soon.

Lily Smith:
I was just thinking, we do know someone that just joined delivery. So what happens to a startup when a VC is introduced or brought into the mix and it changes from just Angel fund to VC funded? How does it change the dynamic of the business?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
I think that the big dynamic that changes, not loads change, but the big thing that does change is that a VC is invested on the premise that you are going to have a big exit. The number one reason why we would say no to a founder for investment, they might have an amazing idea or a business, but the biggest one is the market size question. And the reason is just that the way that funds work is, so for example if we’ve got a portfolio of 30 companies, the likelihood is that the majority of the returns for the fund are going to come from three companies because they just break out successes, they’re the unicorns, they’re the big companies. And then maybe 10 of the companies will return the size of the fund again, and then the rest will not make it at all.

So every time we invest in the company, we have to believe that that company has the potential to return the fund. So that means that if we’re a 60 million pound fund, and let’s say we own 10% of the company at exit, that company would need to exit for at least 600 million pounds for it to return the fund. So we are doing those maths when we’re making the investment calls. So there might be a company that’s perfectly great, but we just can’t get ourselves to believe that it’s a big enough market for them to tackle.
So when a VC invest in your startup, it means that they believe that you can achieve those goals, which means that you’ve also agreed to go for those goals. So that is what changes is that the ambition is now set to be. That doesn’t mean that along the way everyone might agree that, “You know what, we went for the big outcome and it hasn’t worked out and there is an opportunity to exit,” hopefully good VCs will say, “Hey look, we should all come out of it with success, and if we can’t see a way to grow further, then lets exit for less money,” But when you start off, that should be the agreement that we are going for a bigger outcome.

Randy Silver:
That makes sense. Okay. So I’m going to turn the tables on you completely Dharmesh, because not everyone gets to go in as the head of product or something like that. Lots of people go in and I’ve heard way too many horror stories from people I talk to about how do you deal with a founder who won’t let go. And it takes a lot of different ways, sometimes it’s, how do I deal with a founder who still wants to code? Or the one who just comes in and says, “JFDI on things,” or as shiny object syndrome, or just said, “Hey, I just read this in the magazine, let’s just do this.” How do you deal with a CEO that wants to be that involved, but doesn’t understand that the company’s grown and doesn’t understand the second, third, fourth order effects of the things that they’re doing?

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. And I see it a lot, because it is hard for founders. If they’ve not been in that world before, and they they’re having to do it and suddenly having to let go is difficult. I definitely see it a lot. Let’s say there is no senior product person in the team, then it’s not easy. I’d say that there’s a few avenues. One is that you get yourself educated in different ways to manage it. There’s good resources like Mind the Product is one, like some of the courses that they do, they’re very helpful. It’s not a plug, I’m genuinely saying that.

The other one is, can you bring in some experience, even if it’s someone in the network or someone that the VCs might know, that is a route. So for example, that that’s where I play a part, I go into companies and help founders because I’ve got the experience to say, ‘Hey, there is time to make that shift.”
I think the other one is, typically that happens because they haven’t yet made the transition to using tools like OKRs, they’re really committed to those types of processes where founders start to deliver on saying, “Hey, here’s the direction we’d like to go in, and I’m going to leave some of the details to the team.” I’d probably say if the big one is, if you are a junior and that is happening a lot, then starting to make the call to say, “We need to hire in some more senior people,” is probably the biggest one. Once a founder brings in someone senior, that conversation has to happen at that point of going like, “Why would I join if I’m not going to have some ability to take ownership of some of this.”

Randy Silver:
So that leads to one last good question on that, which is, if you were the junior in that relationship, how do you convince the founder that it’s time to bring in that senior talent? Because you’re not usually having that conversation from a position of power then.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
I think a lot of that depends on that relationship. So if that relationship is not good, then first of all I’d say have a go. I think early stage startups, everyone is just trying to figure it out. Everything’s moving so fast, and I wouldn’t be scared as a junior product person to have that conversation. I think you should have the conversation and try it. And if that doesn’t work, then different strategies, as I said, do you know someone that is friendly to the founder to have that conversation? Can you say, I’ve got this consultant, we should speak to them. I’ve done that strategy where I brought in Marty Cagan. I’ve brought him at the BBC, and I brought him to Mind Candy, in a way to help reinforce this is what product doe. He said all the same things that I was saying probably much better than me. But it was more having someone external just does make a difference. I think there’s also, if you get yourself into situations, a junior product person where you’ve tried these different avenues and they’re not working and your life is a nightmare, then at some point just don’t be in that startup, that’s okay. Genuinely it’s okay.

Lily Smith:
Dharmesh, I definitely agree with you. I recognise some of those strategies myself. It’s been so great listening to you and thank you so much for all of your advice. It’s no secret that it’s hard doing products and very hard starting a business, really helpful to have some of your insights from the front line.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
You’re very welcome.

Lily Smith:
Thank you very much.

Dharmesh Raithatha:
Yeah. Thank you.