At The Table with Great Product Minds

By: Anamitra Banerji, Partner at Foundation Capital

We recently hosted a dinner in partnership with Product Hunt, here in San Francisco, which brought together forty-five product-minded founders and entrepreneurs for a great evening of food, cocktails, and conversation. The night was filled with serendipitous connections and an interview with guest speaker Ben Rubin, Co-Founder of Meerkat. It’s amazing to think that a year ago — our first get together was just five people around the table of an Indian lunch buffet.

I joined Foundation Capital after eight years in product management at Twitter, Yahoo!, and Overture. All that is to say, I couldn’t be more passionate about creating great products and supporting the minds that power them. Staying connected to my product roots is important to me, and that’s why I’ve grown to love these dinners. That enthusiasm for product-oriented founders is broadly shared at Foundation Capital — my partner Steve Vassallo was the VP of Product and Engineering at Ning and a project leader and design engineer at IDEO before that.

“I’ll tell you a secret: everybody sucks at live-streaming” ..bc ppl don’t know what a good stream is yet — @benrbn
— Yoree Koh (@yoreekoh) April 29, 2015
.@AppMeerkat founder: next frontier of live, 1-to-many video broadcast apps is mining Facebook graph. @FoundationCap
— Amir Efrati (@amir) April 29, 2015

These once small product meetups really started to take off once we found even more product-oriented CEOs who shared our interest in learning from other product founders and hearing first hand stories of success and sacrifice, both in the tactical day-to-day work and on the strategy side of the business. Over the past few months we’ve hosted Alex Shultz who talked about leading growth at Facebook, Gokul Rajaram who spoke about the challenges in making trade-off decisions, Elad Gil who talked about raising from angels and seed funds, and just this month Ben Rubin — Co-Founder of Meerkat who walked us through innovating in live-streaming, social, and mobile with Product Hunt Founder Erik Torenberg.

Ben Rubin, Co-Founder of Meerkat with Product Hunt Founder, Erik Torenberg

Our collaboration with Product Hunt, at our most recent dinner last week and beyond, has been fantastic as we bring more of their community of passionate product founders together with like-minded leaders and makers. If you are working on a consumer-focused startup and let product lead your vision, you should definitely join us next time. Connect with us here @anamitra and@vassallo to get involved and sign up for our next dinner here.

Foundation Capital Product Minds Dinner, Spring 2015

Sure, we’ve outgrown our small table at that lunch buffet, but the mission remains the same — connect great minds with conversation over delicious food and learn a thing or two about building innovative products while we are at it. So… are you in?

Originally published at