Geoff Donaker: "Instant Karma"

Geoff Donaker: "Instant Karma"


This Week's Guest: Geoff Donaker

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It is rare for someone to go from the earliest stages of a company, in this case being employee number 10 at Yelp, all the way through major growth, past IPO, and to serve as a chief operating officer in a publicly-traded company.

This episode with Geoff Donaker is a crash course for anyone in a start-up. Geoff has been working with internet companies for over 20 years and has seen every stage of the start-up journey. Prior to Yelp, Geoff worked at two startups and had roles at eBay and Excite at Home. He now brings his expertise to VC as the founder and General Partner of Burst Capital.

Geoff's perspective for employees of companies going public, and his advice for founders and new companies provide deep insight into common problems like stagnant prices, discovering new business models, or keeping employees and customers engaged. Combined with his vivid memories of Yelp's early days, this is a must-listen episode for any aspiring founder or startup team member.

We named this episode after the John Lennon song “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” because they both share a message of treating the world well (lest Karma comes back to get you). We’ve found that part of life in the Valley is recognizing that. As Geoff recommends: “Do anything you can do to avoid burning bridges in the early part of your career—and rather, build them. You're going to want to call some of these people 15, 20 years from now.” Hear the full story and the full tips from our friend Geoff Donaker.

Show Notes


Early days at Yelp

Early days at Yelp

More About Our Guest

Founder and GP of Burst Capital,

Geoff is Founder and Partner of Burst Capital. Before founding Burst in 2017, originally as an angel fund, Geoff spent the prior 20 years helping build Internet businesses. He was Yelp COO for over 10 years, co-leading its growth from $0 to $700m revenue and 10-5000 employees, with an IPO along the way. Prior to Yelp, Geoff worked on two start-ups (one successful, one not) along with roles at eBay and Excite. He is a Stanford grad and began his career as a consultant with Oliver Wyman.

Find Geoff on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Musical Inspiration For This Episode From Our Playlist

Joe Meyer: "It Don't Come Easy"

Joe Meyer: "It Don't Come Easy"