Co-founders, Paparazzi & Family...Oh My! Nikki Durkin on Start-up Relationships - The Venture Capital Coroner's Report

Distilling Venture Capital

Jun 11 2015 • 30 mins

What were you doing when you were 18? Nikki Durkin was finding co-founders, doing the Y-Combinator thing, raising venture capital, dealing with reporters, replacing co-founders, raising more venture capital and otherwise trying to grow her start-up. Listen in to find out what she learned when it all collapsed.

My Guest
Nikki Durkin hails from Sydney, Australia.  At the ripe old age of 18 she launched 99Dresses, an online exchange for used fashion. After starting in Sydney, she moved to Silicon Valley to participate in Y Combinator.  While 99Dresses got its fair share of press, Nikki attracted more press than most entrepreneurs both because of her age and her gender.  When 99Dresses ultimately failed, Nikki took the courageous step of posting two long articles on, one about being a woman in the tech industry and the other about the emotions of failing.  She discusses both with me on this episode of the podcast.
The Take Home Lessons
Unlike a lot of my conversations, Nikki and I spent less time on the lessons she learned about raising venture capital and managing and growing a start-up.  She spoke candidly about her relationships with her co-founders and her family.  She also offers a very balanced and candid perspective on being a young woman in the start-up tech game.  Lessons she learned about these things in her late teens and early 20's are often missed or ignored by people twice or three times that age.  Nikki's story reminds us that the people in our lives are ultimately what make any start-up story a success or failure.
Resources & Links

Nikki on Twitter
Nikki's article about closing down 99Dresses
Nikki's post about Why I'm Sick To Death of Being A 'Woman In Tech'

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Why a Venture Capital Podcast About Failure?
From early childhood you've always heard the saying “Learn from your mistakes.” In the venture capital industry you frequently hear “Fail fast” to learn and get to the right idea.  Great advice. So, for this venture capital podcast I interview venture capital backed entrepreneurs about what they learned when their start-up didn't go as planned. I hope you can learn from their valuable experience.

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