In Depth

Welcome to In Depth, a new podcast from First Round Review that’s dedicated to surfacing the tactical advice founders and startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves. Hosted by Brett Berson, a partner at First Round, In Depth will cover a lot of ground and a wide range of topics, from hiring executives and becoming a better manager, to the importance of storytelling inside of your organization. But every interview will hit the level of tactical depth where the very best advice is found. We hope you’ll join us. Subscribe to “In Depth” now and learn more at firstround.com

Business
Management
Entrepreneurship
1
Developing technical taste: A guide for next-ge...
Sam Schillace is the CVP and Deputy CTO at Microsoft. Before Microsoft, Sam held prominent engineering roles at Google and Box. He has also founded six startups, including Writely, which was acquired by Google and became Google Docs.
65 min
2
How to build and scale winning marketplaces | C...
Casey Winters is a legendary advisor on scaling, product and growth. He’s worked with companies like Airbnb, Faire, Canva, Whatnot, Thumbtack, Tinder, and Reddit. Until recently, Casey was the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite, and has also led growth and product teams at Pinterest and Grubhub.
73 min
3
Lessons from Sentry on scaling DevTools and fin...
Milin Desai is the CEO at Sentry, an application monitoring tool for developers. Sentry has recently passed two key milestones: 100K customers and over $100M in ARR. Before Sentry, Milin was a GM at VMware and scaled their cloud networking into a billion-dollar business. Prior to stepping into leadership roles, Milin was a PM at Riverbed and a software engineer at Veritas.
58 min
4
How to be effective up and down the org chart |...
Matt MacInnis is the COO at Rippling, an all-in-one HR, IT, and finance platform for businesses, which last raised $500M at a $11.25B valuation. Before Rippling, Matt was the co-founder and CEO at Inkling, a mobile learning platform that was acquired in 2018. He also held several management roles at Apple.
75 min
5
Timeless lessons on running software companies ...
Alyssa Henry is the former CEO of Square, a financial services company providing products and services used by over 4 million merchants. Formerly at Amazon, Alyssa led the development and growth of Simple Storage Service (S3) at AWS. Alyssa now serves as an Independent Director at Intel and Confluent.
76 min
6
Building products that delight customers | Adam...
Adam Nash is the co-founder and CEO at Daffy, a platform that makes it easier to donate to charities and non-profits. Before Daffy, Adam was the President and CEO at Wealthfront, where he scaled the company’s assets under management from $100M to over $4B. Adam has also held leadership and technical roles at Dropbox, LinkedIn, eBay, and Apple.
76 min
7
A masterclass in founder conviction | Eilon Res...
Eilon Reshef is the co-founder and CPO at Gong, an AI-powered platform that tracks, records, and analyzes sales calls to drive revenue growth. In 2021, Gong raised $250M at a $7.25B valuation. Gong was one of the fastest SaaS companies to hit $100m ARR, and now has over 4000 customers. Before Gong, Eilon sold his previous e-commerce startup, Webcollage.
43 min
8
Essential lessons for building and scaling DevT...
Dennis Pilarinos is the founder and CEO at Unblocked, a developer tool that lets you talk to your codebase. In 2018, Dennis’ first company, Buddybuild, was acquired by Apple, and he was subsequently appointed Director of Development Technologies. Before that, Dennis was a Senior Director at AWS and a Director at Microsoft.
58 min
9
Scaling and selling AI products for enterprise ...
May Habib is the co-founder and CEO of Writer, a full-stack generative AI platform built for enterprises. The model is trained on a customer’s own data to create content that is consistent with their brand style and voice. Writer recently raised $100M at a valuation of around $500M. Prior to Writer, May co-founded Qordoba, an AI writing assistant.
40 min
10
The secret lever Replit pulled to scale ahead o...
Amjad Masad is the co-founder and CEO of Replit, an online platform designed for collaborative coding in multiple programming languages. Replit boasts over 30m users, has secured $200M in venture funding, and was recently valued at $1.2B. Before Replit, Amjad was a Software Engineer at Facebook, and a Founding Engineer at Codecademy.
53 min
11
Lessons from Gusto & Square on finding your pro...
Michael Cieri is the Chief Product Officer at Gusto, an HR and payroll platform used by more than 300,000 businesses. With a decade of experience, he has led successful SMB product development and scaled high-performing orgs. Before Gusto, Michael was also the Head of Product at Square, where he led a team of 15+ PMs responsible for $600m in annual revenue. Michael was also the VP of Product Management at Opendoor.
59 min
12
A customer success masterclass | How to design,...
Stephanie Berner is a Customer Success Executive at LinkedIn. Since 2018, Stephanie has spearheaded all post-sales functions at LinkedIn Sales Solutions through its period of rapid growth. With a background in building and scaling customer success teams at Box, Medallia, and Opower, Stephanie has extensive experience in delivering exceptional customer experiences across various company stages.
71 min
13
The human side of world-class engineering leade...
Michael Lopp is an experienced engineering leader known for building products at iconic companies like Apple, Borland, Netscape, Palantir, and Slack. Since 2002, Lopp — as he’s more commonly known — has written about engineering, management, and leadership on his popular blog ‘Rands in Repose’. He is also the renowned author of three books: Being Geek, Managing Humans, and The Art of Leadership.
64 min
14
Clay’s path to product-market-fit: Building ver...
Kareem Amin is the co-founder of Clay, a lead-generation software that uses AI to scrape 50+ databases and help companies scale their outbound campaigns. Before Clay, Kareem was the VP of Product at The Wall Street Journal. Kareem also co-founded Frame (useframe.com) which was acquired by Sailthru in 2012.
54 min
15
Inside Figma’s early days: How to build a world...
Kyle Parrish, Figma’s first sales hire, built the company’s zero-to-one sales engine from scratch. Figma now has more than 3 million monthly users. Prior to Figma, Kyle spent 5 years at Dropbox in various sales roles. At Dropbox, Kyle successfully launched and scaled the Austin office to 100+ people, and then led the enterprise sales function in San Francisco and New York.
67 min
16
The new PLG playbook | Arming the next generati...
Oliver Jay is a sales and expansion specialist. Oliver was Chief Revenue Officer at Asana and led the company’s global expansion. He grew the team from 20 to 450 people and increased international income to 40% of Asana’s total revenue. Prior to this, Oliver built the first business sales team at Dropbox, and led the company’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region while tripling ARR. Oliver is now an advisor and leadership coach focused on assisting founders and executives in scaling their businesses.
65 min
17
Mastering modern entrepreneurship | Building le...
Steve Blank, an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, is widely regarded as the father of modern entrepreneurship. Prior to academia, Steve’s career spanned eight different startups. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement with his May 2013 Harvard Business Review cover story, Steve has changed how startups are built, and how entrepreneurship is taught. Steve is also the renowned author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual.
69 min
18
Winning with open and closed source products | ...
Neha Narkhede is a co-founder at Confluent, a data streaming software that raised at a $9.1b valuation in 2021. Neha later co-founded Oscilar, a no-code platform that helps companies detect and manage fraud. Before building these two companies, Neha was a Principal Software Engineer at LinkedIn where she co-created Apache Kafka. Neha is ranked #50 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women 2023” with an estimated net worth of $520m.
74 min
19
The Bard blueprint | Creating value, shipping f...
Jack Krawczyk is a Senior Director of Product at Google, building Bard. Bard is Google’s collaborative, conversational, and experimental AI tool that’s bridging the gap between humans and bots, while addressing ethical considerations around AI. After joining the project in 2020, Jack helped ship Bard in less than four years. Bard sources information directly from the web, and now enables users to inquire about and summarize YouTube videos.
83 min
20
A masterclass in engineering leadership from Ca...
Will Larson is the CTO at Carta, an ownership and equity management platform that raised at a $7.4b valuation in 2021. Prior to joining Carta, Will was CTO at Calm, founded Stripe's Foundation Engineering org, and led Uber’s Platform Engineering people and strategy. Will also writes extensively about engineering leadership, and has authored two books in this area: Staff Engineer, and An Elegant Puzzle.
78 min
21
How goal-setting and planning is different for ...
Anastasis Germanidis is the Co-Founder & CTO at Runway, an applied AI research company shaping the next era of art, entertainment, and human creativity. Runway has raised $237m and was one of Time Magazine’s “100 most influential companies” in 2023. Runway has been a persistent viral sensation in recent years, and is behind many of the most famous AI demos online.
59 min
22
How Vercel found extreme product-market fit by ...
Guillermo Rauch is the CEO of Vercel, a frontend-as-a-service product that was valued at $2.5b in 2021. Vercel serves customers like Uber, Notion and Zapier, and their React framework - Next.js - is used by over 500,000 developers and designers worldwide. Guillermo started his first company at age 11 in Buenos Aires and moved to San Francisco at age 18. In 2013, he sold his company Cloudup to Automattic (the company behind WordPress), and in 2015 he founded Vercel.
67 min
23
The business of growing and monetizing an open ...
Ashley Kramer is the CMO and CSO at GitLab, a publicly listed DevSecOps platform. Ashley took a unique path into her CMO role. She started out in software engineering before becoming a product leader, and eventually, a marketer. Most recently, Ashley was the CPO and CMO at Sisense, a data analytics company last valued at over $1b.
74 min
24
How to leverage intuition, customer support, an...
Colin Zima is the co-founder and CEO of Omni, a business intelligence tool that has raised over $26.9m. Prior to starting Omni, Colin was Chief Analytics Officer and VP of Product at Looker, which was acquired by Google for $2.6b. Colin was an early employee at Looker, and stood up its high-touch customer support arm, which turned into a cornerstone competitive advantage for the company.
74 min
25
Building Zapier from first principles | Contrar...
Wade Foster is the Co-founder & CEO at Zapier, a platform for building workflow automations without a developer. Zapier was started during 2011 in Columbia, Missouri, and by 2021, it was valued at $5b, having only raised $1.3m. Prior to founding Zapier, Wade had just two professional jobs, and had never managed or hired anyone. He worked as a PM on a web app used by 20k students, and as an Email Marketing Manager at Veterans United - a role that had a significant influence on Zapier’s eventual success.
67 min