Jeff Jordan - Building & Investing in Marketplaces - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 276]
Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
What Are Some of the Early Learning Curves?
My guest today is Jeff Jordan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Jeff has one of the most interesting set of experiences of guests that I’ve had on the show. As an operator, he has been the General Manager of eBay.com, President of PayPal, and CEO of OpenTable. As an investor, he was one of the first General Partners at a16z and sits on the board of Airbnb, Instacart, Pinterest, and other notable firms. Given his vast experience, he is the firm’s go-to-expert on all things marketplaces, which is the common thread in our conversation. Please enjoy this great discussion with Jeff Jordan.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:48] - The notion of perfect competition in marketplaces
[00:04:31] - How to build a marketplace while thinking about perfect competition
[00:05:32] - Promoting price discovery at eBay
[00:06:52] - Features of a marketplace he focuses on
[00:08:38] - Best way to do lead generation
[00:10:20] - Red flags for marketplace businesses
[00:11:00] - Major business lessons learned while at Disney
[00:12:10] - Learning to be an operator while at eBay; Leaving It All on the Field
[00:14:45] - How he got hired at OpenTable
[00:16:22] - Taking OpenTable public and being its first public company CEO
[00:17:44] - What they did well in financing OpenTable
[00:18:54] - Communications between company leaders and its investors
[00:19:45] - Going from operator to investor
[00:22:08] - Lessons from the early years of becoming an investor and pricing companies
[00:24:12] - Power of network effects on a startup
[00:26:56] - Healthy tensions inside of a network
[00:29:23] - When the supply side is the more difficult part of the equation
[00:30:27] - Characteristics of founders when it comes to marketplaces
[00:33:30] - The importance of being a perpetual learner as a founder
[00:35:36] - When he starts focusing on unit economics and margin profile in a new marketplace
[00:37:45] - Increasing convenience for a buyer as a business strategy
[00:42:14] - Categories that could use better marketplace solutions
[00:44:36] - Layers of growth inside a business
[00:50:26] - Lessons with the unique business model of Pinterest
[00:52:03] - Unique aspects of the Andreessen Horowitz business model
[00:55:54] - Finding and recruiting talented general partner investors
[00:57:37] - The morning basketball game and community strengthening
[01:01:36] - Defining great mentor relationships
[01:04:54] - Kindest thing anyone has done for him
[01:06:05] - Lessons from his parents