Josh McFarland - Product Discipline

By Chris Cunningham

In episode three of Superpowers, Bill and Chris share the mic with a Silicon Valley veteran turned venture capitalist. From founding startups to holding leadership positions at giants like Google and Twitter, Josh McFarland has navigated the full gamut of the tech sector’s fast-paced product development ecosystem. Through it all, Josh has consistently managed to steer his way toward success thanks to his ability to maintain product discipline. He can identify what products and services are effective and useful, and has approached his career with discipline and decisiveness that has always served him well. Now a Partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners, Josh shared his winding journey with Bill and Chris, starting with his upbringing in a small Wyoming town and his college experience at Stanford University, followed by the intensity of a career developing products in Silicon Valley and how it led him to his current position. “I was so burned out on operating, like PTSD level,” Josh said of his time co-founding and running TellApart. That’s when he decided to make the jump to Greylock. For the past two years, Josh has leveraged his exceptional attention to detail and innate ability to identify game-changing companies while overseeing a $1 billion fund. He shared some of the keys to his success with Bill and Chris. “The best venture capitalists have one thing in common: Luck,” said Josh. “The more open you can be to be holding your arms wide open and seeing what the universe is handing to you, [the better]. If you’re just putting together your spreadsheet and dumping your numbers in, you’re going to miss those rare, awesome opportunities.”

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