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Pete Flint, Trulia Founder & CEO, Joins NFX Guild

Today we are excited to announce that Pete Flint will be joining us as our fourth Partner!

Pete is the Founder and former CEO of US real estate marketplace Trulia, which he ran since its beginning in 2004, to its IPO in 2012, and through its $3.5BN merger with Zillow Group in 2015. Previously, he was part of the founding team of lastminute.com in Europe, an online travel marketplace that was acquired in 2005 for $1.1BN. Two companies, two billion-plus dollar creations.

He’s a rare talent, and for us, a rare fit.

  • When you talk with startup Founders who have worked with Pete, what you notice is how universally they rave about his advice. About how valuable and important it is to them. This is exactly the kind of value we seek to bring to our Founders in the Guild. It’s not easy to find. Pete has the ability and temperament to successfully mentor and teach Founders so they can achieve ambitious goals.
  • Like us, Pete is a product person at heart, and applies a product-centric approach to solving challenges.
  • Pete brings a deep network of relationships that’s complementary to the NFX Guild network. He built his network by working, investing and raising money in Silicon Valley for more than a decade.
  • Who has achieved that level of success but is still willing to work as hard as one needs to in order to build a new institution? Turns out, Pete is.
  • Last but not least, Pete has deep knowledge of network effects, our core business focus. He had significant roles in scaling two major businesses relying on network effects, and most of his investments are in companies pursuing network effects.

All of these attributes mean Pete will be a huge asset to the current and future NFX Guild portfolio companies.

But picking a new Partner is more difficult than that for us.

Yes, we absolutely needed to get that talent-level fit. And a background fit. A geography fit. A role fit. A timing fit. A compensation fit. A stage-of-life fit. An effort-level fit. A vision fit.

But perhaps more difficult to find, we wanted personality, motivation, and character fit.

*Who* our next partner was as a person was just as important to us as to what they could achieve.

For us, Pete is that rare combination. A killer but also a teacher. Decades of experience, but still learning every day. Determined yet empathetic. Confident yet humble. Hyper-successful but still wanting to work hard to build something lasting and extraordinary.

The mission of NFX Guild is to bring together the world’s leading early-stage entrepreneurs and give them an unfair competitive advantage. The way we give them that advantage is with superior training and by forging them into a committed and powerful Guild.

In other words, we apply our own teachings to running our own startup, NFX Guild. We iterate and test the product we provide to be repeatable and have network effects … whereby every new member brings exponential value to the other members.

In this way, we aim to build a lasting institution, benefitting thousands of top founders and impacting generations of entrepreneurs.

With Pete, we are better set than ever to realize this vision. We feel very lucky to have found him and lucky that he chose us.

 —  James, Gigi, Stan

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Some stats about NFX Guild:

  • NFX Guild founded June 2015 in Palo Alto, CA.
  • NFX stands for Network Effects, as we focus on bringing better network effects to the companies we fund.
  • 45 portfolio companies funded over the first 3 classes. 70% of those have raised capital subsequent to NFX Guild.
  • 30% of companies are Israeli origin
  • More than 50% of companies have second-time founders or have already raised significant capital
  • 50% B2B, 50% B2C companies
  • We provide more than 30 hours of unique curriculum
  • NFX Fund 1 is $15M and funded by the NFX Guild Partners and also by leading Silicon Valley VC’s: CRV, Greylock, Shasta and Mayfield
  • A network of 100 Scouts send us hundreds of high-quality, vetted applicants per class. Application to NFX Guild is invitation-only, and our Scouts are the gatekeepers.
  • A very active Alumni Community of 150+ founders with 2–3 events per month and info sharing within rules of strict confidentiality

 

Network Effects Are Not Dead, They Are Alive and Thriving

Recently, my friend Sarah Lacy at Pando.com wrote yet another insightful thought piece about the state of venture investing and the startup world.  But this one emerged with an unfortunate title:

The death of network effects and the sad return of the VC kingmaker

The original idea for the article came from a conversation she and I had in October, which has nothing to do with network effects.  My point was that raising capital was becoming more important to success, not less, and thus VC’s are becoming kingmakers again. Thus, this article generously quotes me.

Unfortunately, based on the title, several people have thought that I am now saying network effects are dead, despite being a Partner at a fund whose name is Network Effects Guild (NFX Guild).

It would indeed be an irony if true, but nothing could be further from the truth.

More than ever, we believe getting network effects are critical to building value in startups.  I believe this will be true for the rest of my lifetime.  So much so that my Partners and I spend many hours per week honing our skills at helping build network effects in our 65+ portfolio companies.

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Network effects are alive and thriving.  The most valuable companies have them, and the most valuable companies in the future will have them.

– James