Talia Goldberg, Pod Leader of the Week

Talia Goldberg, Investor at Bessemer Venture Partners

Talia Goldberg, Investor at Bessemer Venture Partners

What about your career has surprised you the most?
Only a small percentage of startups succeed, but the same is true of venture capitalists, which means the job often seems a bit like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. VC is often glamorized in the press, but it's a hard job that requires a ton of persistence and patience. That said, its also one of the most fun, intellectually stimulating, and dynamic careers out there.

What about the future excites you?
There’s progress practically everywhere you look. Though the mainstream news is often pretty grim, life has generally gotten better and better over the past decades - there is less poverty, more education (especially for girls!), greater access to health care, etc. Many of these achievements have been fueled by advancements in technology and medicine, and this trajectory bodes well for the future.

What about the future scares you?
The irreversible damage resulting from global warming/climate change.

Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?

Poor Charlies Almanack - it is a compilation of speeches by Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway. He describes the value in learning broad set of mental models that can be used to make better decisions (in every day life and in investing). He also talks about psychology and the common psychological pitfalls that underpin human behavior. I have read this book countless times and find the themes relevant on a daily basis.

What tool do you use everyday that is invaluable?
Google! Sorry if that is a cop out :D

What does the word 'power' mean to you?
Force or influence. Power can be given, acquired, or earned, but the latter seems most durable.

If you woke up and had 1,000 emails in your inbox and could only answer 100, how would you choose which ones to answer?
I’d scan the 1k subject lines and then open and respond to the emails that are most time sensitive and or sent from priority relationships (e.g., portfolio companies, family, exciting investment prospects).  

If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would you want to invite?
Jeff Bezos - Bezos is truly long-term focused and has the patience and discipline to experiment, invent, and invest on a 10-year horizon. He is a great leader and also an outstanding capital allocator whose approach has some similarity to venture capital. For example, Amazon re-invests much of its cash flow into many high potential opportunities, most of which fail, but no single failure can meaningfully impact the company, and if even one or two of these experiments work, they can be long-term needle movers (i.e. AWS, Alexa).