Jeremy Liew is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, joining the firm in 2006. Jeremy was the firm’s first consumer specialist, focusing on massive-scale social media, commerce, new media, and financial services.
Jeremy has funded several companies that have since been acquired or gone public including Snapchat, where he made the first investment, Affirm, GIPHY, Stitch Fix, and more. It’s a track record that has landed him on the Forbes Midas List several times. Jeremy shared his consumer strategy at a recent brunchwork.
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1) Insights into pop culture drive business opportunities. Being a tech whiz no longer gives you a huge advantage in the consumer space.
Accessible software has removed the barrier to entry for non-technical entrepreneurs. Now innovation is being driven by astute insights into social dynamics.
Pay attention to the habits of young females and African Americans. They tend to be the earliest adopters of many pop culture trends.
2) User culture can be a differentiator for social platforms. The features on social apps might look the same, but users will still behave differently on each platform.
Snap and Instagram both have Stories, but the feature is used for highlight reels on Insta and for more unfiltered real time photos on Snap.
Social apps must set the tone for user behaviors and expectations early! Platforms that are plagued by bullying will have poor engagement and retention.
3) Understand key metrics around user engagement, growth, and retention:
• DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users)
• Session Frequency and Duration
• Purchase Frequency for analyzing the number of purchases a customer makes within a set time period.
Good engagement is a leading indicator of good retention.
4) Lightspeed consumer team asks:
• Does this product have a scalable, repeatable way to grow?
Does app usage help drive marketing or word-of-mouth? More concentrated app usage in a smaller radius means your audience might grow faster with WOM.
• Can this product become a part of pop culture?
Not everyone needs to use the product, but the general population should be able to catch pop culture references.
• Does this product build new habits?
Can it become a recurring habit for many consumers?
• Does the founder have a unique insight explaining the above?
What do they know that others don’t?
5) Omni-channel brands are a big post-Covid opportunity. Innovative brands will break down the barriers between IRL (real life) and URL (online).
Early pioneers include the Museum of Ice Cream and FCF, an interactive sports league that puts decision-making into the hands of the viewers at home.
The key is magnifying IRL experiences digitally, creating a steady customer acquisition loop.
We know what omnichannel retail looks like. What does omnichannel social look like? Omnichannel dating? Omnichannel fintech?