Masters in Business

The Venture Investor as Product Manager

Know the customer -- and the technology.

All good venture capitalists must think like product managers, says Costanoa Ventures founder Greg Sands on this week's Masters in Business: What do customers care about? Is this a big enough problem? Does the available technology solve this problem in a meaningful way? And perhaps most important, what is the solution worth to a customer?

Sands is perhaps best known as the first product manager at Netscape Communications Corp., where he worked with Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark. Sands is credited with developing the business plan for the company and coining the company's name.

Before founding Costanoa, Sands was a managing director at legendary venture fund Sutter Hill, which invested in early stage enterprise software start-ups such as Merced Systems, AllBusiness, Youku, Quinstreet and Feedburner. He also served as a business development manager at Cisco Systems Inc.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on BloombergiTunesOvercast and Soundcloud. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak Felix Zulauf of Zulauf Asset Management, the Switzerland-based hedge fund that he founded in 1990.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE