My guest for Ep147 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the General Partner of Tidal Ventures, Wendell Keuneman.
Prior to Tidal, Wendell had over 20 years of deep operational experience including seeing 3 companies grow and scale from startups to successful exits.
He was the Co-founder & CTO of Carbon Twelve (acquired by Broadsoft), CTO of Inference (acquired by Five9s) and as the Head of Product of Atlassian’s Confluence product, with the company IPOing in 2015 and with a current market cap of $59B.
He is now the General Partner at Tidal Ventures, a $30M seed stage investor into product-led companies and founders.
In this interview we discussed:
Lessons from taking 3 companies from startups to successful exits
How to develop product principles for your startup
Models for effective product management
How to find value adding investors
& much more!
2.04 – Introduction to Wendell and his background
3.17 – Basketball principles that Wendell has used to inform in his startup journey
5.29 – How Wendell started coding as a hobby and the journey he took to pursuing it further
7.21 – How Wendell navigated starting a business with family pressure and support
10.28 – Wendells’ journey starting Carbon12
12.34 – Starting a second company following first company success
15.51 – How Wendell started working for Atlassian after seeing a sign in their office window and interviewing on the spot
18.53 – Early days of Atlassian and their focus on product
20.11 – The similarities between successful products across all Wendells’ past ventures
21.59 – Importance of establishing product principles
24.17 – How early stage founders should begin defining their product principles
27.53 – Revisiting product principles as a company grows and changes
29.46 – Getting buy in from team members on new or changing product principles
32.28 – Frameworks founders can implement to support growth in their business
35.50 – The three questions Wendell asked himself to make the move from Atlassian
41.04 – Ensuring values are applied in an additive way rather than being weaponised
42.58 – What support should founders expect from their VC’s
46.02 – The theme’s Tidal prioritises when reviewing startup opportunities
47.47 – How founders can determine the best VC to work with when presented with different options
52.13 – Wendell’s superpower to be able to sort through content to find the most important information for his portfolio partners
55.16 – Delivering information and advice in a way that is most appropriate to the founder
56.35 – Where you can find Wendell and get involved with Tidal Ventures