20VC: Ripple’s Parker Conrad on the Four Key Benefits from Building a Compound Startup | Why shouldn’t there be a trade-off between speed and quality? How did Zenefits give Parker a chip on the shoulder and why is it so important? – 20vc

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Posted on 3 Oct 2022 htebbings1 . By

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parker conrad Founder & CEO @ Rippling, the company that lets you easily manage your employees’ payroll, benefits, expenses, devices, apps, and more, all in one place. To date, Parker has raised more than $697 million for Ripple from some of the best, including Sequoia, Founders Fund, Greenox, Bedrock, Kleiner Perkins, and Initialized. Prior to founding Ripple, Parker was the co-founder and CEO of Zenefits and if that wasn’t enough, Parker is also a major angel, investing in 20VC funds as well as Census, Puli and then AgentSync and TrueNorth Is.

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In today’s episode with Parker Conrad:

1.) Entry in Startups and Zenfits:

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How did Parker make his way into the startup world? How was Parker fired from his own company, Zenefits? How did he react? How did that experience of being fired from Zenefits inspire him to create Ripple?

2.) Parker Conrad: Leader:

How does Parker define “high performance”? How would Parker describe his leadership style today? Why does Parker fundamentally disagree that with speed comes a compromise in quality? How does Parker make sure Rippling does everything quickly and to the best of his ability? How will Parker break down his decision-making framework today? How does he decide whether to prioritize versus not? How does he decide what to assign versus not? What is Parker’s biggest insecurity in leadership today? How have they changed over time? What does Parker do to combat them and mitigate them?

3.) Rippling: The Compound Startup

How does Parker define a compound startup? For what types of business does this vertical approach work versus not work? What are the 4 main benefits of this approach, Parker believes? What are the biggest challenges of building a compound startup?

4.) Ripple: Economics:

How does this compound startup approach affect the ability to cross-sell? How much net new ARR comes from cross-sell today? What have been some of Ripple’s biggest lessons for doing cross-sell so effectively? How do margin profiles differ in their different products? How have margin profiles changed over time? Why doesn’t Parker believe that most startup margins are accurate? How does the Compound startup approach change the amount invested in R&D? How does this affect the fundraising needs of the business?

5.) Ripple: Partner Ecosystem:

How does Ripple think about building the best partner ecosystem? What would have to be done to make it work? Why does Rippling want to offer services that compete with its own products? Why don’t they just build their own? How do margins differ when comparing revenue share on partner products versus Ripple products? What are the biggest barriers to making this partner ecosystem work?

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