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Venture Everywhere Podcast: Serge Kassardjian with Jenny Fielding
Jenny Fielding, co-founder of Everywhere Ventures, catches up with Serge Kassardjian, co-founder and CEO of StayTuned, on Episode 18: Tune In with StayTuned
In episode 18 of Venture Everywhere, Jenny Fielding, co-founder and GP of Everywhere VC, sits down with Serge Kassardjian, co-founder and CEO of StayTuned and co-founder and GP at 6th Man Ventures. StayTuned is a software company specializing in Shopify e-commerce app development and acquisitions, while 6th Man Ventures is an early-stage cryptocurrency VC firm that funds Web3 apps and infrastructure. Serge shares his journey from venture capital to becoming an operator and founder. He talks about the struggles and eventual advancements in building his companies, including a major pivot that led to the success of StayTuned!
In this episode, you will hear:
The importance of relationships and friendships in the startup ecosystem and how they have played a role in Serge's career.
Investors' role in backing founders and the significance of transparency and communication in maintaining strong founder-investor relationships.
StayTuned's primary emphasis on building a software suite within Shopify and plans to expand to other e-commerce platforms.
A high-level view of the market, including the potential impact of upcoming IPOs and overall outlook for startups.
Challenges as a founder, including burn, runway, and hitting milestones, as well as the optimism for the future of the company.
Serge's involvement in the crypto and blockchain space, including his experience in starting a fund and investing in startups in the Web3 and crypto ecosystem.
If you liked this episode, please give us a rating wherever you found us and be sure to subscribe to Venture Everywhere. To learn more about our work, visit Everywhere.vc and ideas.everywhere.vc on Substack. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates and news.
00:00:00 Jenny: Hi, and welcome to the Everywhere podcast. We're a global community of founders and operators who've come together to support the next generation of builders. So the premise of the podcast is just that: founders interviewing other founders about the trials and tribulations of building a company. Hope you enjoy the episode.
00:00:20 Jenny: Hi, Serge.
00:00:21 Serge: Hey, how's it going?
00:00:23 Jenny: Good, thrilled to have you on the Venture Everywhere podcast this week, although it'll be probably September before we get into season two, but planning ahead we are. But really excited, been a long time fan and supporter. And so it's just great to have you here.
00:00:40 Serge: And investor, you guys were the first check into our very first round, which feels like it was a whole lifetime ago. I had a lot less gray in my beard when you guys wrote that check, so...
00:00:53 Jenny: I actually don't remember who introduced us, but I remember them saying like, these awesome guys from Google. And it was just like all these buzzwords and I couldn't keep up. And I was like, "Okay, yeah, yeah, I'd love to meet them."
00:01:07 Serge: Well, I'll tell you something that's funny. Friendships are like in this kind of world, relationships and friendships really, really matter. And I try to over-index on trust in relationships. So hopefully that person was over-indexing on that.
00:01:20 Serge: And I think five years later, as much as you're like an investor in our company and a supporter in a lot of the various things that I try to do in the startup ecosystem overall, you've become a good friend too. So just funny instances, right? Running to you in the subway or we're gonna dinner with other friends and stuff. So it's fun seeing that. Hopefully that's kind of the underlying theme from that first email that came in.
00:01:42 Jenny: For sure. And that's kind of the theme of Everywhere Ventures is that our kind of founder and operator community is really all the source of our deal flow. So the person that did make the introduction I think was an LP. But it was just like the high level, basically anyone in our network who thinks that we should connect. I'm happy to do that.
00:02:00 Jenny: Okay, so you're the second person I've interviewed today that has a background really in venture. So I'm curious to start there, how you got yourself from venture to operator and then to founder. So we see all configurations of that mix of people starting. I started as the founder and then went into venture, you did it the other way.
00:02:22 Serge: Yeah. So my background, I studied engineering in college. I did mechanical engineering. There aren't that many jobs that were interesting to me to go into after graduation. So I took a role in investment banking, which was not a fit for me whatsoever.
00:02:38 Serge: I went to college at Stanford, where I went from '98 to 2002 when it was the heart of life.
00:02:45 Jenny: Interesting years.
00:02:45 Serge: Yes! Silicon Valley, boom. Google was founded when I was at Stanford and just there was like a ton of exciting stuff that was happening. And I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. So I went and got what I perceived as a prestigious job out of college, which I think a lot of people, at least at that time, did. It was a mistake in retrospect, but it was a really good learning experience.
00:03:10 Serge: And a lot of people were going into these more traditional private equity types jobs out of that type of experience. And my instinct was I wanted to go towards a venture capital role. And I joined a fund in Palo Alto called Globespan Capital Partners in the mid-2000s.
00:03:25 Serge: We were investors in companies like Palo Alto Networks, Roku, and a bunch of iconic companies from the mid-2000s. We were a series A, series B fund. But I learned all about venture and investing and it was a different world then. But I got hooked and addicted to startups, but it just like technology, ecosystems, and everything that was happening.
00:03:47 Serge: I ended up going to business school, and after business school, I spent a long time working at Google for eight years, initially working on Google Wallet, and then joining the Android Marketplace team, which ended up becoming Google Play, and joined the leadership team there to really build Google Play from the ground up and building the app ecosystem.
00:04:08 Serge: When I joined Google, I was like, "Okay, not sure what I want to do, but there's a lot of real cool and innovative people there." And then just ended up going into some of the more emerging businesses at Google. And then just getting stuck there, not in a bad way, but I just never thought I'd be there for eight years, but I was having fun. By the eighth year, I was like, "I've always wanted to start companies."
00:04:28 Serge: Retrospective, I was about 10 years out of business school at that point. And I was like, "This is a fork in the road in my life of whether I like go into the startup sort of, if I go stay at a big company and I have a really nice career trajectory." I just left. Much to the chagrin of family, surprised friends.
00:04:46 Serge: And I started working on a bunch of different stuff, I experimented some stuff in the AR early on, started doing some angel investing. I was a little bit further along so I was lucky to do that. But I really wanted to start a company. I didn't know what to start. I didn't know what to do. But I was trying to meet good people.
00:05:02 Serge: Met my co-founder, Randy Jimenez, who was this amazing CTO who had started a company called Ollie before, but he was also CTO of a company called SinglePlatform that was an early success when the New York tech ecosystem was really getting going in the late 2000s, early 2010s. And we just wanted to work together and we started iterating on different ideas.
00:05:26 Serge: And we had really good relationships with VCs at the time. So we were able to kind of put together an idea that we wanted to work on, that we really believed in and had conviction in and we raised capital against that.
00:05:38 Serge: It was a lot of fun until the product didn't work. And it was like the first time in my career where I was like, "Oh my God, it wasn't working." We had been really, really conservative with our burn at the time. And we decided to pivot the company, started thinking about different things. And then we got to where we are now.
00:05:55 Serge: And now, we have successful company, growing company, 40 people work there. Always risk involved, but we feel really good about what we're doing. We are trying to build the biggest software suite within Shopify. We're basically acquiring and building Shopify software.
00:06:12 Serge: We eventually want to go to Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Versus what our competitors do, we're trying to integrate the software and build and suite it and use modern tech stacks, modern tools to build it.
00:06:25 Serge: We brought on a third co-founder, Lauralynn Drury, was a friend of mine socially, but was kind of my go-to with e-commerce and knew Shopify really well and built the team. That's kind of how I got there.
00:06:35 Serge: In the meantime, I think a lot of people know this about me. I also had been investing and doing a lot of stuff in and around Web3, crypto, a lot of stuff. So me and my best friend from college and the person who brought me into Google, we ended up starting a fund together. We thought it was just going to be a side hustle. We were just doing it because we were investing a lot of our own money. And then we grew it. We're successful at it. And we've now hired out a team. We have incredible partners there managing the fund.
00:07:02 Serge: But it's kind of instinctual. What I love doing is working with early stage innovative ideas, disruptive ideas, and even our company, StayTuned. We're acquiring people who have built businesses and have innovated and we're using creative financing mechanisms to do so around a specific theme.
00:07:21 Serge: So that's kind of how I ended up in startups. I just do versus I don't try to overanalyze or think what… I just instinctually try to do and work really, really hard. And as you've probably seen from investor updates and stuff, I'm super transparent, good, bad. I try to send investor updates the first week of every month. So it's kind of a long-winded answer.
00:07:44 Jenny: So it's funny because when LPs or people say, "What do you look for when you're making these investments?" And we say, "Definitely the team and people." And they're like, "Well, that's cliche." But you're a great example. We saw characteristics in you around some of the things you mentioned.
00:08:01 Jenny: The hustle, the vision of the future that didn't maybe exist yet, the resilience. We're excited to be involved because we do know that companies pivot and some of the best companies out there started as something else.
00:08:13 Jenny: So I'd love to just dig in a little more on the pivot, not specifically what the pivot was, but the interaction in the moment that you knew like, "Okay, this is not working and we have an insight of what could be working."
00:08:27 Serge: Yeah. So one of the things I've always realized when you're trying to build a SaaS company is you've got to make sure that you're selling into a buyer that has real budgets and is willing to spend on your product. When we built a product at the time that people were kind of using, but no one was ever going to get close to spending money on it.
00:08:44 Serge: And we signed up, a bunch of free trials, but it was very clear that there wasn't going to be product market fit as much as we had the vision and we had the early stage and we thought we were going in thematically. You always want to follow the budgets and who the buyer is at, specifically the company.
00:09:00 Jenny: Follow the money, dude!
00:09:02 Serge: You always do that. And so I quickly realized, and our team quickly realized that we didn't really have a clear person that we were selling into. The value of the product that we were trying to build, we weren’t trying to eliminate people's jobs but rather to help people grow. You don't wanna look at the cost center, you always wanna like, be in the budget within the growth.
00:09:22 Serge: So it was kind of DOA. Like if you can't do that, you're DOA. We realized that selling into media companies and doing something in the media space when it was largely being commoditized by the existing social media platforms, and, was just not going to work. So we just basically, we'd preserve our capital, did a full stop.
00:09:41 Serge: We hired very little, so we kept the team very, very lean. And we ended up just sitting for a year trying to figure out, experimenting on things. Realized that Shopify was largely becoming the dominant e-commerce platform.
00:09:56 Serge: One of the key insights that we had was, if you were to start a company 5-6 years ago in the e-commerce space, and you wanted to do sophisticated things, subscriptions, offers, all this kind of stuff, you would probably likely build a custom software stack, or you would use a Magento or a Demandware or something else. What had changed in the market was that Shopify had created an app store. They always had that app store, but they were investing in the app store and they were buying tools, headless tools, all sorts of stuff that enabled software to be built on top of Shopify.
00:10:29 Serge: What also would change was that Amazon and Shopify were becoming the two predominant places that you sell. So if you look at just your e-commerce, like stock’s probably not the right word, but your e-commerce setup, if you're like a brand, you're selling on Shopify, you're selling on Amazon, your sneaker store, you're selling on different sneaker marketplaces, and then you're selling in store. That's give or take, you're there. We wanted to own as much as possible the software around that.
00:10:54 Serge: We also started realizing that we had relationships in the debt world and financing world and all sorts of stuff. We partnered with a couple of people who are really smart in that area. And all the problems I had trying to find product market fit and maybe the scar tissue around that made me realize why don't I just go buy product market fit and acquire product market fit?
00:11:14 Serge: Maybe I was just tired. I didn't want to try and figure out product market fit, but finding a good product, like finding good product market fit. Finding stuff that had good product market fit and categories within e-commerce that we liked. So that was where we got.
00:11:27 Serge: I think the overall key lesson that I learned over and over again is just we started this - the team is incredible and we've hired really, really strong people functionally. So we have a very strong corp dev person, we have a very strong customer service person. People have been a really important aspect of everything we've done. You can drive the bus. At the end of the day, it was all about the people that we had.
00:11:47 Jenny: That's awesome. So when you made the pivot, did you feel like you needed to align with your investors? Because even if you don't have a board…
00:11:55 Serge: So we had a board. This is really important for the earliest investors, given that I invest in a bunch of companies myself as well. Why are these companies stacking SAFEs over and over and over again. There's no governance in any of these companies.
00:12:09 Serge: We, from day one, priced our first dollar in. So we did a price round in 2019. And we did one SAFE in our next round, and then we priced a round again. We've always had very clean governance, even to this day, whenever there are big decisions that are to be made. We have a board meetings every quarter, we vote on everything, there's no decisions made in a vacuum.
00:12:33 Serge: When we needed to make changes to the company, and even when we make big decisions now, we are very transparent to the board, and we're always letting them know on everything, obviously, and approving everything. I think we've got over 50, 60 investors in the company at this point. I try to be very transparent with them. I mentioned this earlier.
00:12:50 Serge: Every month, I get an investor update and I'm shocked seeing it on the other side. There are so many companies that just don't send investor updates. So we've been very good about having good hygiene on how we work with our investors. And I think that sense of transparency gives you a lot of rope because they know what's happening within the company.
00:13:10 Jenny: I say this to founders all the time and we have 250 companies in our portfolio and right now we're doing our quarterly updates to all of our LPs and we're chasing a million companies that haven't sent us updates. And it's just a head scratcher for me because you just build so much confidence and rapport with your investors just by keeping them up to date. I mean, no one's telling you what to do. We just want to be there along for the ride. It's always interesting to me.
00:13:37 Serge: I think that's part of the reason why we've had a lot of wiggle room with our investors. And my investors have been very supportive of everything that I've always wanted to pursue because we've been very transparent with them along the way. And I need that, right? Like when we were negotiating an acquisition, I called upon people who may be these small investors, but they know exactly what's going on.
00:13:55 Serge: And you call them up and they have an area of expertise. And look, our company, we're working very hard to build a massive business here. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you have a great relationship even beyond that with all the investors over time.
00:14:09 Jenny: Especially when, then you go start a venture fund.
00:14:11 Serge: Yeah, that was by accident.
00:14:15 Jenny: That was very funny for us because fun fact to the audience, we were the first investor into Serge's first round as well as into his co-founder Mike Dudas, his first company, his company in The Block. So I didn't - for some reason know that you guys even knew each other.
00:14:31 Jenny: So I knew you independently, known Mike for a long time. He was a longtime Techstars Mentor. And then I forget who called me and was like, "Oh, you know, what do you think about the whole 6th Man fund? And I - Mike and Serge and I was like, "Wait, how do they know each other?" And like, "How hilarious that we're investors in both of their companies."
00:14:49 Serge: Yeah. So the story behind that is like a super, really, really fun ride. So Mike Dudas and I went to college together at Stanford, and then we've been great friends since we were 18 years old, so that's 25 years. And I actually got my job at Google because of Dudas. So just like I graduated in '02 into a really bad economy, I graduated business school in '09 into an equally bad economy after the financial crisis.
00:14:49 Jenny: You were really hitting all the downsides, Serge.
00:15:21 Serge: I was also born in 1980 in Lebanon during the war. So it's like every year, it's like everywhere. Yeah, so basically what happened was I was very early in Bitcoin in 2013. When I was running the app store, we met the founders of Coinbase. And Fred was trying to work with us to understand what we could or couldn't do with a Google Play Store. We were introduced to them via Union Square Ventures, who had been an investor.
00:15:49 Serge: And at that time, as I was working with Fred, decided to buy some Bitcoin. And then you kind of fall down the rabbit hole. And it was always just a personal thing. When Mike left Google and went, worked at Braintree and initially got into crypto as well, later started The Block. I angel invested in The Block and knew that community as well. And then we have a really fun story that transpired after that.
00:16:16 Serge: Mike and I started an on-chain fund where in 2020, I was one of the larger whales on NBA Top Shot. I'm a huge basketball fan and I was buying a bunch of these NFTs in the Discord. I remember everyone thinking I was crazy. This was before, like the NFT craze happened.
00:16:32 Serge: Then we decided, okay, maybe it would be fun if we all kind of work together. And we brought in a bunch of our friends to go and buy a bunch of NFTs at the end of 2020, 2021. We got really into it. We were enjoying it, involved in the communities, the culture, the art, also fairly large art collectors. I love to collect art and just got into it.
00:16:53 Serge: Three months later, we're like, "Well, we know everyone in this ecosystem because we're right in the middle of buying and selling all of these NFTs and crypto." And we had done a lot of stuff in our PA at the time as well. We did a lot of it together just because we were good friends, but we actually were managing this first NFT wallet fund thing that we were doing with our friends.
00:17:12 Serge: That turned out very well because the timing was well. And then we ended up, we're like, "Okay, why don't we start investing in startups?" So we raised a smaller operator fund where Mike was working at Paxos on a full-time basis. And obviously, I was working on my company. We started investing in a bunch of startups on the side. A couple of those became hits unexpectedly or maybe expectedly.
00:17:35 Jenny: Give yourself some credit.
00:17:37 Serge: Our LPs were very, very happy and it was an awesome experience. We were in companies like Etherscan, STEPN, Magic Eden. I think instinctually, a lot of the lessons that I took from StayTuned and I take from Google Play and maybe my previous VC experience was that - I always invested in platforms and app ecosystems. And blockchain is just like a large app ecosystem or platform at the end of the day. So we had lived entrepreneurial lives, but we also saw this new platform emerging.
00:18:08 Serge: Mike ended up leaving his job and becoming a key man of the fund and running it on a full-time basis. Obviously, I'm very involved on a day-to-day basis as well. But it's something that we absolutely love doing. The fund’s become incredible. We've got incredible people there too. Hired some of the top talent in crypto there. It's something that I'm incredibly proud of because it's something that we've done with a friend who I've known for 25 years with a tremendous amount of passion.
00:18:37 Serge: And we've also brought incredible people. Our other partners, Aaron and Carl are brilliant, brilliant crypto minds, brilliant investing minds. And sometimes things happen, good things happen, and it was awesome. So that's been a lot of fun just generally. And if you kind of look at my career and everything that I've done, it's led up to all of these things like we initially talked about. I went straight to venture because I wanted to work with startups.
00:19:00 Serge: Venture wasn't what it was now with all these mega funds and all the stuff that's happening. And I could have gone in a completely different direction like a lot of my classmates in business school did and a lot of other people that were my peers. But I've always gone back to startups, innovation, ecosystems, platforms, and even pivoted my company towards that again. I hope all of it succeeds. What I do promise everyone is whenever I do something, I do it 110% no matter what it is. I'm about to be a father-
00:19:29 Jenny: Woo!
00:19:29 Serge: Which is something I'm very excited about.
00:19:31 Jenny: I love that we're announcing that on the podcast!
00:19:33 Serge: Yeah! so I have a baby due in December. So that's something that I'm very excited to put even more energy for. I know my life is gonna change. I guess my next baby is a real baby. So that's something that I'm very excited about.
00:19:47 Jenny: So it's interesting. I always ask us this question, like what's keeping you up at night or what are you thinking about that you feel worried about? You have two hats to wear. So I'll ask you from a founder perspective with the market as it is, like things, concerns around the trajectory of StayTuned or the macro. And then with your investor hat, obviously there's been a lot of shakeup in crypto and in VC in general, so some things to be concerned about there as well. So it's fun that I get two answers from you.
00:20:16 Serge: Yeah, so from a founder perspective, I'm always worried about burn, runway, people, team being happy. Are we going to hit the next milestone? That keeps me up all night. We've done an incredible job as a company, but we have a ton of work to do. The next six months are critical for us. And we have the holiday season coming up. We have ambitions, plans to go acquire. We just raised a massive debt facility from a great venture debt fund.
00:20:44 Serge: But it's always challenging because you're always worrying about your burn. Holiday season doesn't go well, that's scary. Right? So I worry about all the things that few founders typically turn. You've got to keep the bus going in the right direction and put gasoline. So that's kind of, from a macro perspective.
00:21:00 Serge: I'm actually pretty optimistic for the general, the next year. I think there's going to be a little bit more clarity of interest rates, even, we're feeling this in the summer, but there's some clarity this week on the interest rates environment. I think a big part of it will be, there’s a set of companies that we really need to go public in Q4 that will provide more liquidity into the ecosystem, but also provide confidence. And I think it will trickle down to startups.
00:21:26 Serge: So let's hope Klaviyo goes out well, let Stripe goes out well, let’s hope Attentive goes out well. I'm not a stockholder of any of these companies, but just - I'm rooting for them because these are generally the categories that I'm in and around. And that's really, really important.
00:21:26 Serge: On the crypto side when I think about risk, you look at crypto as a risk spun asset to SaaS, which is like startup SaaS, which is a risk spun asset to the public markets and the NASDAQ. So it's just a higher risk. The biggest issue right now, and it's top of mind for everyone, is regulation and how the government is going to handle it.
00:22:03 Serge: There's tons of talented teams who are still here. Obviously, a lot of tourists are in AI now or in something else. But fundamentally, permissionless finance, automation of smart contracts, non-fungible IP like NFTs, all of this stuff needs to exist in my mind. And I'm a huge believer in the core technology of it.
00:22:26 Serge: What keeps me up at night is how does regulation evolve around it? I think there's a huge risk on a lot of the opportunity moving away from the US. I think there is an inevitability that it will all happen, but the biggest question is, does it happen in the US or will it happen somewhere else? But we'll see. You have to stay optimistic around that.
00:22:42 Serge: Funds are a little bit different because you can think, look at from a 5 to 10 year horizon. Companies, you're always worried about what the next 12 to 24 months are going to look like. I think from a 5 to 10 year horizon on a fund perspective, if you're really patient and nuanced around how you're investing and you're investing in great teams, like we said before, you're deploying at a smart rate.
00:23:06 Serge: And you've got a great group of people who have deep domain expertise, which is, the types of people that have been hired at 6th Man, they have the strongest domain expertise, I think, in the world. You'll be very good at a five to 10 year horizon if you're thinking about Web3 crypto in a long-term perspective. So I have to be optimistic on both, but I think, if I think about the two things that I worry about from a company perspective, burn, runway, growth, from fund perspective, regulation.
00:23:33 Jenny: What's one idea that experts in your field say that you disagree with?
00:23:39 Serge: I think entrepreneurship is ageless. There’s, I think, a bias that you have to be young to be an entrepreneur.
00:23:45 Jenny: Nice! We like that perspective.
00:23:48 Serge: I actually think like, my dad's a phenomenal entrepreneur and he continues to do phenomenal things as an entrepreneur. I think it's a mindset. You take risks, you're okay with failing, but you'll do everything in your power to succeed. So I think it's an ageless perfection. Like I want to be an entrepreneur till the day I die. I don't ever want that to stop.
00:24:07 Jenny: Definitely Everywhere. I mean-
00:24:09 Serge: Everywhere, exactly!
00:24:10 Jenny: Let's try to say that as many times. I love that answer. That's awesome. And then the data actually supports that, right? Don't they say the average age of a successful founder now is like 44 or something?
00:24:22 Serge: I love that. I didn't know that, but I'm going to use it going forward. I turned 44 in February-
00:24:25 Jenny: Oh, perfect!
00:24:26 Serge: - so maybe on my 44th birthday.
00:24:30 Jenny: If you had to distill all of your talents, because you have so many out there, down to kind of your one like superpower, what would you say that thing is that people know Serge for?
00:24:40 Serge: I think just working with great people. I hire great people, I bring great people. I think I'm particularly strong in forging relationships with people who are better than me at doing things. And I think that's helped me in my career. And this goes from employees to investors to everything. So I think relationships mean everything to me and finding great people.
00:25:01 Serge: I was never this strongest engineer when I was an engineer in college. I was never the strongest finance person. When I did early sales at Google, I was never the strongest salesperson. But I think from a relationship person perspective is my biggest thing.
00:25:16 Jenny: I love that. And I feel like that's so true. All the people that I've met in your orbit or overlapping ones are some of my favorite humans. So I love that one for you.
00:25:25 Jenny: Okay, speed round. As we finish this up. It's been a quick 30 minutes already. What's a book you're reading, or podcast, or some type of content that you're really enjoying right now, besides trying to figure out a name for your baby?
00:25:38 Serge: Yeah. I listened to a ton of podcasts generally. This isn't going to be overly intellectual. I try to go running every day and I listen to podcasts every morning. So I typically listen to podcasts on basketball. There's one called Lakers Exceptionalism that I love. I listened to a lot of podcasts on like the typical business podcasts, entrepreneurship podcasts, a whole long list of them. I listened to a bunch of stuff on crypto. Well, I'm a Lakers fan, so I'll use that. I've really gotten into one called Lakers Exceptionalism.
00:26:10 Jenny: All right, we're going to have to check that out.
00:26:11 Serge: Now plug that.
00:26:12 Jenny: I'm a New York Knicks fan. I will have to make an exception and listen to Lakers content. If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would it be?
00:26:22 Serge: I would probably say the South of France, if I'm just doing it from a pure lifestyle perspective. But if it's not from a pure lifestyle perspective, I want to live in New York City. That's why I live in New York City.
00:26:35 Jenny: I'll take the South of France for one year.
00:26:37 Serge: Yeah.
00:26:37 Jenny: I like that. Having just come back from seven weeks in Europe, I'd say it's a good choice. Okay. And while I have sirens here, we can say there's some good things about New York and some challenging things. Like every time I'm doing a podcast, there seems to be a fire.
00:26:55 Serge: Well, I'll go back to the original point. And it's been in the thread throughout this conversation. I think the most talented and best people I've ever met in my life, anecdotally, have always been in and around New York city. That's why I love living here.
00:27:06 Jenny: As a born and raised New Yorker. I love it. Favorite productivity hack? I do notice that you are quite responsive, seem to be one of your superpowers as a founder. So what keeps you so productive?
00:27:21 Serge: I'm inbox zero. And whenever there's something that I can't respond to from an email, I take that email and I put it as a calendar entry. So let's say, so I'm always inbox zero within probably a 12-hour period from morning to evening. And if there's something that I can't get to, and I need to get to in two days, I just paste it into a calendar entry and I put it as like a 30-minute slot in my calendar and I make sure to do it.
00:27:44 Jenny: I love that. Hear that all you people who can't get to your inbox, just put it as a 15 minute slot. I love it.
00:27:51 Serge: I think at the end of every day and the beginning of every morning, what I do is before I go to bed, I can clear out my inbox and get to zero, but I'm trying to do it throughout the day. And then when I wake up in the morning, I do it again between 6:00 and 7:00 AM.
00:28:03 Serge: And then at 7:00 AM, I go for a run and then exercise in some shape or form. I just take a break and don't think about anything work related. And then I get the day started. I usually start between 9:00 and 10:00, 10:00 o'clock most days. That's worked for me, but inbox zero, it's my to do list.
00:28:21 Jenny: Love it. All right. Where can listeners find you? Final wrap up.
00:28:25 Serge: I'm on Twitter, S-E-R-G-E-K-A-S-S, but I'm not super Twitter. But that's my handle across everything, LinkedIn, Twitter, social. So it's just S-E-R-G-E-K-A-S-S.
00:28:36 Jenny: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Serge from StayTuned and 6th Man. Very fun to do a podcast getting both of your perspectives. So thanks so much.
00:28:46 Serge: Awesome. All right. Thanks, Jenny.
00:28:48 Jenny: All right. Thank you.
00:28:51 Scott Hartley: Thanks for joining us and hope you enjoyed today's episode. For those of you listening, you might also be interested to learn about everywhere, we’re a first check preseed fund that does exactly that. We invest everywhere. We're a community of 500 founders and operators and we've invested in over 250 companies around the globe. Find us at our website, everywhere.vc on LinkedIn and through our regular founder spotlights on Substack. Be sure to subscribe and we'll catch you on the next episode.