Awesome interview from 2011 with Tony Conrad from True Ventures (via Startup Grind).
I’ve seen and heard a bit of Tony in the past but this was a great deep-dive conversation about his life and travels (including growing up in small-town Indiana and living in France and Indonesia), and True Ventures’ style of investing and authentic approach to helping entrepreneurs. He also had extraordinary things to say about certain entrepreneurs he’s worked with, particularly Matt Mullenweg from WordPress.
I liked Tony’s idea of creating “unfair advantages” in startups (told in the context of launching About.me); his concept of making your own luck and defining the startup world as a “contact sport” (i.e. the importance of being out there and accessible, despite the difficulties of balancing that with home and family life); and his advice to take the long view, build relationships over time, and treat entrepreneurship as a career, not as a one-off event.
Many of Tony’s points closely mesh with points that David Hornik at August Capital told me recently when he was kind enough to sit with me in his office and discuss building a career in startups and VC in Silicon Valley. I definitely hope to have the opportunity to meet and chat with Tony some time soon.