47 James Currier of NFX – Investing in Network Effects Businesses – Outlier Academy

James Currier is General Partner of NFX, an early stage venture capital firm with a focus on startups with potential for network effects. In part one of this episode, James and Daniel discuss the difference between virality and network effects, investing in networks effects businesses, and advice for founders.
Last updated
October 13, 2021
5
Min Read
Before founding NFX, James Currier co-founded four successful companies that were later acquired by companies like Monster and PayPal. (Photo credit: Chris Michel)
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“Every company is its own work of art, and the founder is the artist.” – James Currier

James Currier (@JamesCurrier) is General Partner of NFX, an early stage VC firm with a focus on startups with potential for network effects. Before founding NFX, James co-founded four successful companies: Tickle (acquired by Monster), Wonderhill (merged with Kabam), IronPearl (acquired by PayPal), and Jiff (merged with Castlight).

To listen to James Currier’s bonus interview and learn more about his habits and inspirations, click here.

For more, explore the transcript of this episode



Chapters in Part 1 of this interview:

  • James’ background and journey to NFX
  • Defining network effects and why they are so powerful
  • Virality vs. network effects
  • Examples of businesses with network effects
  • Tweaking rules and systems to take advantage of network effects
  • Networks effects as a business strategy
  • Investing in network effects businesses
  • Advice for founders

Links from Part 1

Terminology

Learn More About This Topic

What Are Network Effects?

Harvard Business School offers this introduction to network effects with examples and how they affect pricing and strategy.


The Network Effects Manual: 13 Different Network Effects

NFX has put together a list of 13 (and counting) types of network effects and their playbooks.


They Dynamics of Network Effects

Andreessen Horowitz has created a great summary of network effects and the three things to pay attention to in your own company to take advantage of network effects.


Books about Network Effects

This Twitter thread from Andrew Chen is a crowdsourced list of books about products with network effects.


Your Life is Driven by Network Effects

James noted that this essay guided his own son’s choice of schools; it’s an excellent application of network effects into everyday life.


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