July 22, 2022

#123 Steve Vassallo of Foundation Capital: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook

#123 Steve Vassallo of Foundation Capital: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook

In Episode #123, we deconstruct Steve Vassallo's peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. Steve is General Partner at Foundation Capital. We cover translating non-human languages, enlightened procrastination, and his insatiable curiosity.


In Episode #123, we deconstruct Steve Vassallo's peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. Steve is General Partner at Foundation Capital. We cover translating non-human languages, enlightened procrastination, and his insatiable curiosity.

“Go deep, go early, go big.” – Steve Vassallo

EPISODE GUIDE (LINKS, QUOTES, NOTES, AND BOOKS MENTIONED)

https://www.danielscrivner.com/notes/steve-vassallo-playbook/ 

FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

https://www.danielscrivner.com/notes/steve-vassallo-playbook-transcript/ 

CHAPTERS

In this episode, we deconstruct Steve Vassallo’s peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. In it we cover:

  • (00:00:00) – Introduction
  • (00:03:52) – Translating non-human languages
  • (00:06:35) – Having insatiable curiosity and a deep love of building hard things
  • (00:08:27) – Investment philosophy can be distilled down to conviction
  • (00:10:21) – You can always find a way to build something you’ve already sold, but you can’t always sell something you’ve already built
  • (00:12:08) – Enlightened procrastination
  • (00:14:44) – Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • (00:17:10) – Invest in people you want to work with
  • (00:21:01) – Take stock of what you’re granting your attention to


ABOUT STEVE VASSALLO

Steve Vassallo has been a general partner at Foundation Capital for the last 15 years. At Foundation, he's led the firm's investments in Stripe, Cerebra, Sunrun, Loft Orbital, Solana, and many other incredible firms. Steve is also the author of The Way to Design, which is a guide to how companies of all sizes should approach design. The book is a compendium of interviews with more than 50 designers, design scholars and tech founders who have gotten design right from day one.

Steve began his career at IDEO where he worked closely with IDEO's founder, David Kelly, to research design and deliver innovative products and services across industries. Because of Steve's early experiences at IDEO he's drawn to product-centric founders and has a wonderful knack for bringing design and engineering together to create incredible products.

In this episode, we cover why Steve has been fascinated with the wicked problems that exist in Crypto and why he thinks we're still in the earliest innings there. He talks about his work with the earth species project, whose goal is to decode non-human language in mammals of all sizes from whales to monkeys. Talks about how he combines insatiable curiosity and a deep love of building hard things in his investing work. He shares his advice for founders and investors, and he shares his favorite books, including why he loves Thinking Fast and Slow and Poor Charlie's Almanack.

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ABOUT OUTLIER ACADEMY

Learn timeless lessons on work and life from iconic founders, world-renown investors, and bestselling authors. Outlier Academy is the forever school for those chasing greatness. Past guests include Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Scott Belsky of Benchmark and Adobe, Joey Krug of Pantera Capital, Mark Sisson of Primal Kitchen, Luke Gromen of The Forest for the Trees, and Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

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ABOUT DANIEL SCRIVNER

Outlier Academy is hosted by Daniel Scrivner. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has led design teams at Square and Apple, turned around a $3M+ ARR SaaS business, and invested in more than 100 companies. He launched Outlier Academy in 2020 to learn from the world’s best founders, investors, authors, and peak performance experts.

Website: https://www.danielscrivner.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/danielscrivner

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