by Patrick O’Shaughnessy
My guest this week is Hunter Walk, the co-founder of Homebrew, a unique venture capital firm. Hunter is a tool builder, having spent his career before venture at companies like Google and YouTube. The topic of our conversation is the intersection of creative expression, technology, human behavior, and problem-solving.
We discuss his time at the company behind the video game Second Life, building tools for creators at YouTube, and why a very hands-on style of early-stage venture investing represents an interesting use of his skill set at this stage of his career.
Please enjoy my conversation with Hunter Walk.
1:24 – (First Question) – Background on Second Life and what role Hunter had there
6:10 – The virtual currency system at use in Second Life
9:51 – Measuring how people behaved in this virtual world
12:21 – How closely is the Second Life world mimicking real life
15:13 – The market for platforms that lets people take on creative ventures
17:58 – Investments that interest Homebrew
20:21 – Lessons learned while working at YouTube
28:34 – The idea behind Homebrew
33:44 – How to best describe good problems to solve for
36:10 – The Shadow economy and investing in companies operating there
42:17 – Monetization of attention
42:26 – List of categories they invest in
47:22 – His interest in fintech companies
47:41 – Saveet Singh Podcast Episode
54:03 – Major trends of change he’s observed over his first three funds
1:04:13 – What is there take on the state of returns for VC’s
1:09:52 – What is the most common way that founders need help and what advice is more helpful
1:14:35 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Hunter