Call Us
+91 9231566434

Spotting, Nurturing and Mentoring Talent — The Power of Troy Carter

The “what” Troy Carter does also led him to be an early investor in Uber, Lyft, Dropbox, Warby Parker and several other great startups of the last era. And more recently he has turned that into a fund called CrossCulture VC such that many in Silicon Valley and beyond now know Troy as well.

Troy represents what  believe the best magic of Los Angeles is — the merging together of creative talent with technical talent and he brings the lessons learned from these two fields into investments nationally. But can you really cross over from spotting music talent to spotting tech talent? And can the lessons of what be applied to the other?

 think you’ll learn more in watching the 20-minute interview that Troy Carter and did than you will in most tech interviews because he cuts down to the raw essence of what it takes any product to be discovered and nurtured and the power of being able to connect the right emerging artist with the right influencers in a market. Influencers are inundated with requests for their time and have to develop filters of whom they trust and therefore who can refer them deals.

The old saying in Hollywood is that “It’s not what you know but whom you know” but the truth is always more deceptive and the tech industry is a lot more susceptible to this notion than you may think. Even an extraordinary engineer or product lead who have built a breakthrough product aren’t guaranteed success unless they can get access to capital, get much needed press to drive low-cost customer acquisition and persuade fickle business leaders to join their company and help them shape their businesses beyond tech innovation.

And whom you know is really just about who is willing to go to bat for you, break through filters, and vouch for the quality of your product and of you.

So what did it take for Gaga to break out and what does Troy preach to startups?

think the common denominator and the one word is ‘hustle’

When Troy and Lady Gaga were introduced the market had been in a free fall from the financial crisis of 2007–09 and Troy had had some setbacks professionally while Lady Gaga was sleeping on her grandmother’s couch in West Virginia, having just been dropped by Def Jam Records. They were already at the bottom and as Troy says, when you’re at your bottom

“You can’t fall off the floor, so let’s get to work!”

And as with tech startups there is truth to the adage, “The harder  work the luckier I get.” Lady Gaga played 4–5 clubs a night in Los Angeles and New York when she was a relatively undiscovered talent. They had a philosophy called “The first 50,” which was a metaphor for “how can we find the first 50 fans” (or super fans) and win them over.

The cross-over to tech was immediately apparent to me and probably intuitively to Troy even though he didn’t know it. In the 90’s most of us studied, “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore in which he preached serving a narrow market that are passionate fans about your tech product before trying to bring it to the masses. The hard core supporters become your “referenceable accounts” and Moore’s teachings probably influence us today subconsciously more than many in the tech industry probably realize. In many ways this was the precursor to the MVP philosophy our era espoused by Steve Blank and the ideas we discuss around product/market fit.

So guess Troy and Lady Gaga were touring in search of this product / market fit.

They were playing small clubs to the gay community (her early ardent fans or “first 50”) and they were getting a warm reception so they wanted to double down on this community. They hired a consultant in the LGBT community who had relationships with all of the most popular gay clubs (who you know) and they built from there. The history of tech will always tell you there was a defining moment for companies (like Twitter at SXSW in 2007) but the reality is often more nuanced. Same with Gaga

“It was a series of inflection points. So wasn’t one explosive thing that just happened. It was us planting seeds in every place.”

But Gaga wasn’t like every product. She was disruptive. So the radio stations wouldn’t play her. They told Troy that it wasn’t a fit for the stations, it wasn’t pop music and they didn’t want to play it. So Troy and Lady Gaga were amongst the earliest artists that turned to social media and tech platforms to break out. If you haven’t read my post about how Justin Bieber broke out, you should. It’s the same story. So Troy was early in music to learn about the power of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so forth. And by using tech products they were able to market themselves to gay audiences globally where US radio in a way would have limited their success.

When they couldn’t get US radio stations to play Gaga Troy got the idea to have her music played in Canada and used that to persuade neighboring radio stations in places like Buffalo to also play her music and he built off of early successes to spread the music to contiguous markets. That is PRECISELY what Shep Gordon said he did to help Alice Cooper break out two decades before.

When I listen to Troy talk through this stories and others the parallels between our industries are more obvious. And when you want to understand the character of. Troy Carter would note one subtle thing that could easily be lost. Watch Troy as interview him. He really is paying unbelievably close attention to every question  ask. He’s looking intently at me the whole time, he’s trying to derive meaning from what  asking him. He’s earnest trying to answer each question with the insights he learned. I point this out because over the last decade I’ve interviewed hundreds of people. Few pay this level of attention in an interview and few engage this completely in a conversation.

honestly think this is one of Troy’s intangibles. He seeks to really understand the party he’s sitting. With and dedicate himself completely to that understanding in the moment.  Say that because that’s what experienced in my private meetings with Troy as well. And in a world where most people you’re. Sitting with are simply waiting for you to stop talking so they can say. Whatever is in their heads already — this level of paying attention. Trying to understand the person you’re sitting with & truly engaging is rare.

point out this subtlety because it is precisely the subtleties in life the determine ordinary. Performance from extraordinary.  believe the most successful people in. Business and life are the people who really pay attention to these details. Who truly try to understand the motives and intentions of the person. With whom they’re interacting and try to find common ground (or decide this isn’t a person they can work with).

So this essence is what  believe has allowed Troy to cross over so successfully. Troy says 5 years ago he had never heard of “venture capital” yet when  seen him be. Interviewed before or even in our discussions he uses industry terms in technology. And venture that display a sophisticated understanding of the way. Our industry works in a way that only a truly engaged and curious. Person could master in a short period of time.

This interview was done on the investor-only day of the. Upfront Summit and was remarked by many as “the highlight of the day”. And for the first time is now being released to anybody who would like to see it.

We covered the Gaga breakout story but also

  • The importance of a narrative in marketing
  • The need to have well-defined networks of people you trust for introductions. (he talks about Shervin Pishevar, who is also a friend of mine)
  • So talks about the fact that as an entrepreneur himself attracts other entrepreneurs to want to work with him
  • He acknowledges the role that luck plays in success (but might add the harder work the luckier get)
  • The power of “influencer networks” to drive product adoption

But we also talked about how:

  • Troy didn’t finish high school (was kicked out of a few and dropped out of a few)
  • Grew up in a poor neighborhood in West Philadelphia “lots of love but no money” without a father. (he was incarcerated)
  • He found out to get on the radar screens of Will Smith. P Diddy, Biggie Smalls — when Troy wasn’t even 20
  • We talked about biases in the tech sector against people who come from different background “Unconscious bias? We used to call that ‘racism!’ But  guess we need to tie it up and put a pretty bow on it.”

But  thought Troy really nailed it when he talked about his investment philosophy going forward. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tag Cloud

(which was launched in March 2005 and has been used to launch over 2 000 companies including Stripe 000. personal property leases. agreements concerning the purchase 10 Ways to Generate Blog Ideas 401(k) plans 409A valuations 7 Insurtech trends to be aware of in 2021 A company that develops driverless cars Abundant Adarsh Gram Affiliate Marketing on Facebook: 4 Tips to Succeed in 2021 Affiliates Age Matter for startup Agreements or arrangements that provide benefits contingent upon a change in control. The severance or deferred compensation plans (including any salary deferral agreements AI token Airbnb Alphabet Also president and editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency. He urged BRICS media outlets to be aware of the general trend of global development and be “narrators” of the. BRICS story And also agreements relating to the Company’s past stock issuances. Any documents evidencing registration rights for the Company’s also securities And Bylaws. Similar information for the Company and subsidiaries And more. If your startup is an early-stage company that is looking to fund raise in 2020 Angel investment Annual recurring revenue) Antitrust Lawsuit Any determination or opinion letter and Form 5500 filings for the last 3 years. All documents or other information relating to any loans made by the Company to its employees AR/VR ecosystem Artificial intelligence Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Insurance Landscape Attended the event as co-chairpersons of the forum. In their speeches Augmented Reality Avoid When Seeking Investment Azim Premji University Bahrain Base salary Be proactive Beijing – The fifth presidium meeting of the. BRICS Media Forum was held via video link. Monday Best Business Structure Better leader Bitcoin Blobal market Blockchain technology Branding on Investment BRICS media Building your Brand Business Business cards Business End Goal Business opportunities in Serbia Business Owners Business plans Business Software Now Buyer Personas Capitec launches ‘Scan to Pay’ feature in its app Career myths Certificates of Designation CFO Change Challenge Change is the new Normal Charitable Partnerships Chefrome Classification (including Co-working space Coinbase Commission plan (if applicable) Community-as-a-Service: A Business Model for the 21st Century Compete with Big Companies Content is the key Contracts or proposed transactions to which the Company is a party or by which it is bound which involve obligations of Copper Intensity Copyright Coronavirus Outbreak Corporate entrepreneurship Corporate Multi-nationals Corporate to Start Cost reduction Credit cards Cruise Automation Cryptocurrency Customer Experience Dealing with online hate Definition of Goal Derailing your career Deutsche Telekom Digital India Digital Marketing Digital Marketing Strategies Digitizing your business Diligence Checklist Director of The Hindu Publishing Group of India; and Dr Iqbal Survé Directors Directors or consultants. The Company’s employee handbook. If the Company has any foreign employees Disney Do We Need A New Value-System For Professional Survival In A Post-Pandemic World Don’t Make These 6 Big Mistakes When Starting a Business DoorDash Dubai Dubai opportunity for start-ups Economies Electric Vehicles Elevate Customer Experience Empathy-Based Marketing Employee Well-being Employment agreements and offer letters with severance benefits or vesting acceleration provisions. Any plans Energy Energy business Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs share their thoughts on the topic Entrepreneurship: The Adrenal Rush of Riding a Bike Epic Games Etc. Executive chairman of Independent Media of South Africa Executives Facebook Family Business Favour of casual work Fear of failure Feel lost Feeling lost Financial cash flow forecasts Find a job you love Finding a work-from-home job option First deputy editor-in-chief of Russia’s Rossiya Segodnya; Narasimhan Ram Follow the evolution trends of media also and be “leaders” in. Innovative development Follow Your Dream Confidently Game development in marketing Garib Kalyan Yojana Gas Girls in business Global cloth brands Global market Gold Government Great managers way Guide to Hiring Employees Happiness Hard Work Might Not Pay Off Harsh reality and facts of the startup ecosystem He added. Jose Juan Sanchez High Expectations to Live the Life Hire Hobby into a business How Is Automation Able To Help Insurers To Recover In The Pandemic? How Much Do I Raise for My Startup How you plan to grow your business If an employee If any. A corporate entity organizational chart If available. judgment Imperfect Progress Importance of Time Management in the Workplace Including Including employee confidentiality and proprietary information agreements. insurance policies held by the Company or of which the Company is a beneficiary and a summary of such policies Including grant dates and exercise prices. Copies of agreements relating to outstanding options Including issuance dates and original issuance price. A list of the Company’s option holders Including SnapScan and Zapper Including title Including without limitation Incubation Incubator India and South Africa India Oman Business India-Oman Instacart Instruments Investment Investment memos It’s OK to Quit (Your Job) Jobs Joy happy Kids Kind Is Not Always Good for Corporate World Leadership qualities Lean canvas Lease Legal Tech Companies Liens Life is good Like Huckabee CPA Love your job Manage people who are older than you Management Marketing Marketing automation Marketing Teams Microsoft Microsoft invests in Cruise Might Just Change My Life Millennial Mind Morality Impacts Valuation Mortgage Motivated when your business Fails Move Your Shop Online Mumpreneur NDAs Neurodiverse New Jal Shakti Ministry New Job Nice guys finish last Notice of exercise and restricted stock purchase agreement). If the Company sponsors a 401(k) plan Nurturing and Mentoring Talent Office Culture Office Décor Oil Online entrepreneur Or any affiliate thereof Or evidencing any agreements among the Company’s shareholders or between the Company and its shareholders. A summary of the vesting schedules of any stock or options subject to vesting Or outside the ordinary course of business. A list of officers and directors. If any officers are not currently devoting 100 percent of their business time to the Company Or payments to Or strike or other labor dispute. Information Regarding Employees and Employee · Benefits A list of the Company’s employees and consultants Or sublease of real property. Any documents evidencing indebtedness for money borrowed or any other liabilities incurred by the Company. Any documents evidencing any mortgages Order Pandemic Pandemic ready Patents Pension plans and insurance plans. So forms of agreements used in connection with any stock option plans. (such as a form of option agreement Person You Wanted to be as a Kid Petrocrats Please note them on this list. Information Regarding Disputes and Potential Litigation Any correspondence or documents relating to any pending or threatened action Power Powering African Countries PRASAD Scheme President of Brazil’s CMA Group; Sergey Kochetkov Private Fund Data Operations Production Promotion Proof of tax compliance Proprietary information or technology Public relationship Publishers Grow Purpose-led Qualities of a good mentor Quantum Computing Quitter Reaching Goals Recently the well known startup incubator /seed accelerator Ycombinator Recruitment Relationship and marketing Remote Work Resilience as a business leader Revenue Capture Reviving the economy and building a community with a shared future Rights Rights (including conversion or preemptive rights) or agreements for the purchase or acquisition of any of the Company’s securities Russia Safe Path Said. He Samarjit Mitra Sample businessplan Saudi Arabia Scalable and sustainable business model Scale of personality School term Select an idea SEO SEO strategy Separately list (by country) all benefits provided to foreign employees. Of course Skill India Small Business Small Business Owners Small businesses SMART CITY- A Step Into the Future Smart phone Smuggling Sony Electronics Announces New Airpeak S1 Professional Drone Sowing future growth Start-up India Start-Ups Starting Your Own Street Food Business Startup Startup Fails Startup Fundraising Startups Stay relevant and grow Stock market Stock option plans Stocks Stop Comparing Your Life with Others Stress in business Stressed At Work Structural Readjustments Required in B-Schools Structuring Investment Subrata Chattopadhay Successful Contingency planning for Business Suit or proceeding or investigation Taking money from an investor and on any terms cannot hurt Target bonus (if applicable) Tax computations The Company in excess of $25 They expressed the hope to further deepen the cooperation among. BRICS media Toxic Workplace Tracking SARS-COV-2 Variants of Concern Trade secret or other proprietary rights Trademarking Turn your sales UAE Labour Law: All You Wanted to Know About Leaves Understanding Understandings or proposed transactions between the Company and any of its officers Unified Mobile Application Union representation Unknown and Unplanned Vaccine Rollout Values back on track Various Types of Investors VC Virtual Marketing Virtual reality VR Wages Warrants Washington State Recruits Starbucks to Help With Its Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout We suggest working with an experienced startup-focused accounting firm Well before your startup is in the due diligence phase of an important fund raising or m&A transaction. What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets: What financial metrics/benchmarks do VCs look at (such as ARR What Is Working Capital What VCs Really Look For Whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt) and state of residence. The Company’s standard form of offer letter. Any agreements Whether written or oral Why Business Angels do not invest Why practising good self-care is a recipe for Success With employees or consultants). Such employee benefit plans With members also pledging joint efforts. To improve the forum mechanism also and step up post.-Covid-19 exchanges and cooperation among BRICS media. In the fight against Covid-19 Without limitation Women in business Women mean business Workers Working Capital World Embraces Phygital World leader summit World of the Red Gem Writ or decree by which the Company is bound or to which it is a party. standard forms of agreements used by the Company. joint venture and partnership agreements. management Ybersecurity in the metaverse era You should be thinking about preparing a due diligence materials which includes financial documents such as P&L statements You’re Overworked Your cap table and more. Other documents to be retained will include incorporation and constitutional documents (that evidence legal ownership

© All Rights Reserved.