FirstMark
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A Conversation with Severin Hacker, Duolingo’s CTO

Severin Hacker is the co-founder and CTO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular language-learning platform and most downloaded education app, with over 500 million users worldwide. Severin joined FirstMark’s Guilds to share how Duolingo has built a test-driven culture and how the company runs experiments at scale.

Why Duolingo Started Testing Everything

Duolingo’s culture is centered around one of the key operating principles of “test everything.” To validate this, the company launches 30 new experiments per week and is running 100s of experiments concurrently.

Early in its lifecycle, Duolingo used a third-party tool to launch and manage product experiments. Eventually, the expense became too great…

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About FirstMark

FirstMark is looking for a talented Investor to join our team in New York City. With $2.5 billion of assets under management, FirstMark is the first full-stack venture firm, investing in companies at every stage of their journey. We are proud to partner with the ambitious founders of some of the most iconic companies in the world, including Shopify, Pinterest, DraftKings, Airbnb, Discord, and many more. Through our proprietary FirstMark Platform, powered by the largest network in venture, we help accelerate exceptional companies by connecting founders with expertise, talent and customers.

About The Role

As an Investor at FirstMark, you will have a…

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A Conversation with Kate Taylor, Notion’s Head of Customer Experience

Kate Taylor is the Head of Customer Experience at Notion. Prior to Notion, Kate led Dropbox’s SMB revenue and scaled sales operation. At Notion, she owns customer experience, or as she puts it “the front door experience for our customers.” She works across sales, product, marketing, and finance to scale ROI-positive revenue motions. She spoke with FirstMark’s Adam Nelson in a fireside chat for FirstMark’s Guilds.

How do you build a strong customer feedback loop across CX, Sales, Product, Engineering, and beyond?

This is a very common issue for companies to struggle with. …

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A Conversation with Rapha Cohen, Chief Product Officer at Waze

Rapha Cohen, Chief Product Officer at Waze, joined FirstMark’s Product Guild to share the five essential frameworks he uses to run an efficient, high-output product organization.

Frameworks are an incredibly powerful tool — but they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. While there’s no silver bullet framework for everything, Rapha Cohen believes that using the right framework in the right situation can, in his words, “accelerate thinking, compensate for laziness, fuel creativity, and can even allow you to avoid psychological biases.” In Rapha’s case, he’s identified five useful frameworks for specific teams within his product organization.

Below, we dive into Rapha’s frameworks…

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When we founded FirstMark in 2008, our vision was to build a network-driven venture capital firm that would enable the world’s most ambitious founders to build companies that change the world. FirstMark is constantly looking at ways to innovate to better serve our entrepreneurs. It is in that spirit that we are proud to announce the formation of FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corporation (FMAC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that we listed this week on the NYSE. …

Make meaningful connections between senior industry leaders and startups

FirstMark is a venture capital fund that invests in technology startups. We are proud to work with entrepreneurs who have built iconic companies like Shopify, DraftKings, Pinterest, Airbnb, and dozens of others. Today, we count 75+ startups as members of the FirstMark family.

Our Platform team provides extensive resources and support to accelerate the success of companies in the FirstMark family. We do that by connecting founders and their teams with talent, customers, and expertise.

Our Corporate Development efforts are focused on making meaningful connections between startups and industry leaders — connections that can become company-defining moments..

We have introduced…

Help us build the most impactful communities in venture

Interested in applying? Details at bottom of this post.

FirstMark is a venture capital fund that invests in technology startups. We are proud to work with entrepreneurs who have built iconic companies like Shopify, DraftKings, Pinterest, Airbnb, and dozens of others. Today, we count 75+ startups as members of the FirstMark family.

Our Platform team provides extensive resources and support to accelerate the success of companies in the FirstMark family. We do that by connecting founders and their teams with talent, customers, and expertise.

As a firm, we operate multiple communities that create extraordinary value for FirstMark-backed founders, their teams…

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Help us find the best talent in the ecosystem for FirstMark portfolio companies

FirstMark is a venture capital fund that invests in technology startups. We are proud to work with entrepreneurs who build iconic companies like Shopify, DraftKings, Pinterest, Airbnb, and dozens of others. Today, we count 75+ startups as members of the FirstMark family.

Talent is the lifeblood of great companies, and finding the right hire can permanently change the trajectory of a growing company. As a Talent Associate on the Platform team at FirstMark, you’ll be at the forefront of those company-defining moments, by identifying and placing exceptional candidates across the FirstMark Family.

Our Platform team provides extensive resources and support…

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The FirstMark Team

We are pleased to announce the closing of our latest funds, FirstMark V and FirstMark Opportunity Fund III, totaling $650MM. In these very difficult times, we are grateful for the steadfast commitment of our existing investors, the support of new investors joining us, and the entrepreneurs that we are fortunate to partner with on this journey.

Our mission remains unchanged from the founding of FirstMark in 2008:

  • We back technology entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of their companies. We are active partners who serve as lead investors, board members, and unrelenting supporters of our entrepreneurs and teams.
  • We provide founders…

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Today, we are incredibly proud to announce that Rick Heitzmann, Founder & Partner at FirstMark, has been named to the 2020 Forbes Midas List.

The Midas List is widely regarded as the pinnacle distinction bestowed upon a select group of investors each year. Here’s a brief passage by Forbes on Rick’s story and a handful of his most notable investments:

“Shortly after cofounding FirstMark Capital during the 2008 recession, Heitzmann met two young founders at an NYU business plan contest who foresaw a sea change from a text-based world to an image-based one. Their idea became Pinterest, and Heitzmann, the…

FirstMark

Early-stage venture capital in NYC. firstmarkcap.com

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