20VC: Craft Ventures’ David Sacks on How To Assess Founder Psychology, How To Accurately Evaluate CAC, Burn and Churn & What Makes The Very Best Startup Boards
David Sacks is the Co-Founder @ Craft Ventures, one of Silicon Valley’s leading early-stage funds with David’s portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Tesla, SpaceX, Palantir, Affirm, Airbnb, Slack and Bird to name a few. David started his career in tech as the first product leader and COO @ Paypal, growing payment volume from $0-$500M per month, leading to their $1.5Bn acquisition by eBay. David then founded Geni.com, creating a family tree for the whole world, the company was acquired 3 years later by MyHeritage. David then founded Yammer, the secure solution for internal corporate communication and collaboration, acquired by Microsoft for $1.2Bn. Finally, David then became COO and Interim CEO @ Zenefits before starting Craft.
1.) How David made his way from founding Yammer to creating one of the valley’s newest and most prestigious firms in Craft Ventures? Given David’s operating success he could have angel invested continuously, why decide to start a fund? What does he ultimately want to achieve with Craft?
2.) How did experiencing the Dot Com Bubble with Paypal and then 2008 impact David’s investing and operating mindset? Does David believe VCs really are “open for business” today? How is VC behaviour shifting when comparing early to later stage? How is Craft responding?
3.) Unit Economics: How does David assess unit economics in early-stage opportunities he is looking to invest in? What does proper attribution look like? Where do many go wrong with unit economics? Is it too early to try and assess unit econ at seed? How does David think about having mental plasticity towards unit economics, recognising how they change over time?
4.) Customer Acquisition: Does David agree with Peter Fenton, “there is a complete lack of free and open distribution”? What are the rules of thumb on CAC that David does and then does not agree with? How does David feel about blended CAC? What separates good from great when it comes to CAC/LTV?
5.) Churn: How does assess net negative churn in the businesses he works with? What is great, good, decent and poor? How does avid think about logo vs dollar retention? How does David advise founders who feel COVID has not impacted churn for them? What should they expect?
6.) Burn + Capital Efficiency: How does David analyse burn and capital efficiency today? What does he mean when he discusses “the burn multiple”? How should the burn multiple change with the stage of the business? How does David advise founders on how aggressively to cut burn today?