Industrial Innovation, Where Blitzscaling Doesn’t Work, Why Sector Focus Wins, and Beginning with the End in Mind — Featuring Ty Findley

Ty Findley of Ironspring joins Nick to discuss Industrial Innovation, Where Blitzscaling Doesn’t Work, Why Sector Focus Wins, and Beginning with the End in Mind. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC?
  • Why the decision to leave Pritzker and become an MP at Ironspring?
  • What’s the thesis at Ironspring?
  • Lots’ of new firms and new funds being launched… How is Ironspring different?
  • You’re a “sector-focused” fund… why do you think specialized funds will outperform their generalist counterparts?
  • We work in an asset class that often promotes bliztscaling, exponential growth and often spending ahead of progress… how do you rationalize the expectations of startups in our industry with the much slower pace that many legacy and heavy industrial industries… that your startups are serving… are going to move at?
  • Glacial pace has benefits… long-term durability of cash flows, customer retention, pricing power… the moat
  • Do you think product-led growth can work in these sectors?
  • Talk about the difference between “occupations” vs. “activities” and why this is especially relevant in industrials amidst the pandemic?
  • How do you think your style as an investor differs most from others (ie. discussion of decision making process/thinking in bets… focus on the decision not the outcome)
  • How would you describe your system for investment decision making?
  • 4-part framework of the “Day in the life of a VC fund manager”?
  • Must-haves for an investment?
  • Aligned with your recent collaboration on the article, “Evaluating the Successful Industrial Technology Exits”, you’ve talked about startups in industrial tech “beginning with the end in mind”… why is this important?
  • Rumor has it you’re starting a podcast — lots of new podcasts these days, why will your’s standout and what’s the objective?

Insights from the Interview:

Interview Link: https://fullratchet.net/Ty_Findley

Nick is a GP at New Stack Ventures, a firm investing at the first round of startup funding. Nick also created the first VC podcast, The Full Ratchet.