Introducing the Consumer-Obsessed Series

Introducing the Consumer-Obsessed Series

What are you listening to?

What are you listening to? It’s a question that gets asked a lot around here. If you’ve ever been interviewed by Listen — whether as a job candidate, prospective founder, subject matter expert, or podcast guest — you’ve likely been asked to share what’s buzzing through your speakers.

In July of 2022, I was asked this signature question as part of my onboarding to the Head of Listening role. Though my personal answer was easy (Stick Season by Noah Kahan), I spent the next sixty days exploring that exact question for our organization: What are we, as Listen, listening to? Listening has always been in our DNA, but the question became: How might it be more insightful, intentional, and structured to shape our investment theses and decisions?

I quickly learned that the speed of deal-making in venture capital stands in tension with deep consumer research, leaving most to rely on market research, trend watching, and founders alone to be proxies for consumer insight. But what is lost in that distance? And, what might be gained from proximity?

Introducing the Consumer-Obsessed Series

Instead of asking what we’re listening to, couldn’t we be asking who we are listening to?

In that spirit, I’m pleased to announce the launch of Consumer-Obsessed, a series of research deep-dives on behavior shifts that we believe are at a tipping point — and that we, as Listen, feel particularly inspired to invest against.

Through this work, we tap into the perspectives of experts, founders — and, most importantly — consumers themselves to sharpen our point of view and turn our intellectual curiosities into investment conviction.

By sharing this body of work with you, we hope to spark conversation, collaboration, and calls to action. This means deeper, more meaningful diligence discussions with founders and stronger, more informed relationships with our portfolio companies.

I invite you to follow along as we explore the hearts, minds, and homes of real consumers, unleashing the power of human-centered design and design research on the world of venture capital. Join us as we dive deep into the human psychology, cultural fuel, and operating realities driving behavior shifts.

Check out our first deep-dive on Food as Medicine, a “nutrition first” approach to wellness. Our next one is dropping soon on Mindsets from the Middle, an exploration of modern midlife womanhood. Sign up here to receive an early copy hot-n-fresh off the presses.

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