What does a VC look for in a product?

Our first Product Tank

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In our desire to get near entrepreneurs, last Thursday we hosted the latest edition of Product Tank Madrid in our offices. The topic: Product and Venture Capital. We know from many entrepreneurs we’ve talked to one of the main worries is what we VCs look for in products, what we value, what KPIs are more important and a long etc. We thought it would be interesting to share the point of view of a VC like ours, but more important, hear first-hand from product managers how they see the latest trends in product design and development.

For the occasion we brought together our founding partner José del Barrio, former CEO and product manager at La Nevera Roja, and Javier Escribano, Product VP at OnTruck, our latest portfolio start-up. In a room crowded of 60+ brilliant designers and product developers and managers, our two speakers shared their views on how to build and manage successful products that make VCs fall in love. In the end, investing in startup is pretty much like marrying someone for the next 5 years so love at first sight always helps.

For José del Barrio, the starting point is clear: “bring people that are smarter than you on board”; it’s the only way to get the best out of everyone. And once you create teams, make sure they can work independently, without having to rely on top positions. Let them create autonomously and what’s more important, make sure they feel they own what they are developing.

Product Tank Madrid at Samaipata Ventures

Javier Escribano, in his turn, shared with us how in a less than a year, a Powerpoint has turned into a freight transport marketplace that allocates orders in a matter of seconds. Once again, some of the keys to building a successful product: 1) R&D, 2) quick and constant iteration, 3) autonomous teams, and encompassing all, a common philosophy that makes everyone feel part of the project.

As for what a VC looks for in a startup, some of the recurring topics that came up were outstanding teams, effective decision making processes and intelligent resource allocation within the startup’s activity. Another important aspect, separating product and technology. Why? This way, technology can move as fast possible, whilst letting the product department more time to reflect.

All in all, it was pleasure to welcome Product Tank to our offices, to share views, ideas and perceptions with such a group of brillant people. See you soon!

Thank you Bernardo, Alex and Alfonso from Product Tank Madrid for organizing this!