8:11 - Building trust in your co-founder
6:10 - Samurais and startups
11:49 - Well-designed values
17:05 - Co-designing with users
21:04 - Defining work/life balance
Fred Destin is the founder of Stride Venture Capital, an artisan venture capital fund focused primarily on the U.K. and France. He received his Master's from Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and later got his MBA at HKUST Business School in Hong Kong. Starting his career at J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs after that, in an associate and executive director role respectively, gave him solid foundations for the rest of his career, and he has been a board member and investor for many different startups.
Drawing from a Samurai's meditative approach, he emphasizes the art of handling chaos and making high-speed decisions while staying grounded in your startup's mission. Navigating co-founder dynamics and instilling well-defined company values becomes paramount as Fred shares insights on building robust teams and fostering a culture of openness.
He reminds us that true impact comes from honest conversations and dissent, the mantra of Strive V.C., and underscores the significance of co-designing products with customers to avoid assumptions that can lead you astray, as well as the importance of always speaking up. Fred's advice extends to embracing curiosity over stress, safeguarding against burnout, and recognizing the crucial role of mentors during tough times. Strive is raising their second fund after the first raised £124M, and it’s only up from there.
“With a co-founder, you need to get to know each other on a deep level so that you know you will be able to handle whatever situation the company faces.”
“I can’t repeat this enough - we should design alongside our users and customers as closely as possible to find out what they need, versus what we think they need.”