Thrillist
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Ben Lerer

(Founder Stories) How Thrillist’s Ben Lerer Got Thicker Skin And Grew Up

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In this episode of Founder Stories with host Chris Dixon, Thrillist co-founder Ben Lerer discusses the challenges of running a growing business (watch his first interview here).

Lerer says of primary importance is keeping the team focused on turning readers into shoppers and shoppers into readers: “We are not just Thrillist … we have this other thing called JackThreads and this other thing called Rewards and … we are one company, we are moving in one direction.” Lerer also recognzies that the carefree days of being an early stage start-up are history and points out “we have real numbers to hit.” Trying to maintain sanity though the roller coaster isn’t easy he says. “We [co-founder Adam Rich] were very fragile for a long time and I think that has been one of the biggest challenges for us is to just sort of like get thicker skin and grow up.”

In the below video, Lerer discusses his seed stage venture fund Lerer Ventures, and notes his emotions play a role in operations.

Lerer tells Dixon how he started Lerer Ventures with his father, Ken Lerer (Co-founder, Huffington Post) roughly two years ago with “an $8.5 million dollar fund from friends and family” and they recently raised “$25-million.” (Disclosure: Dixon is an investor in the fund).

He goes on to say that the team has expanded, they “generally write $150,000 to $250,000 checks” and invest “in entrepreneurs that [they] love. It is really people based investing.”

Make sure to watch both videos for additional insights and check out prior episodes of Founder Stories here.

Correction: Dixon notes in the video below that Softbank was the first venture investor in Yahoo, but in fact it was Sequoia.