In our latest VC interview, we spoke with three of the four partners of XG Ventures: David Lee, Greg Lee, and Andrea Zurek (the other partner, Pietro Dova, could not make the call).

Yes, the G in “XG” stands for Google. The partners were early hires for strategic roles at Google — or, as one of them put it, they were on the “rocketship.” If you are looking for early-stage funding (seed to Series A) for an Internet venture (in video, social media, mobile, real-time, etc.), and you are based in Silicon Valley, you may want to get to know them. This interview is a good start.

Listen to the Interview

Download the MP3.

Questions and MP3 Guide

Question: If you had to choose one lesson from the success of Google to pass on to your ventures, what would that be?

Skip to 1:25 in MP3
Summary: Each of the partners took a turn at this, so we got three answers. First: focus; stick to improving search (yes, that changed at Google after they left). Second: do everything by the numbers; follow your metrics. Third: focus on the customer.

Question: Knowing Google from the inside, how do you help your ventures position in a market dominated by Google?

Skip to 4:00 in MP3
Summary: They stressed their relationship capital. If you want to make sure your venture is not directly in Google’s path or if you think an exit to Google is likely, XG Ventures sounds like a group of people to talk to.

Question: Tell us about the transition from working for a startup to investing in and advising other startups

Skip to 5:27 in MP3
Summary: They recognized that Google is unique; few rocketships are in that elite class.

Question: What characteristics do you look for in the ventures that you fund?

Skip to 7:56 in MP3
Summary: They look for entrepreneurs who are “business savvy, coachable, and dynamic.” They also like having good co-investors, to reduce risk.

Question: Where are you seeing revenue models that work: ads, subscriptions, or transactions?

Skip to 10:27 in MP3
Summary: They said that today, investors increasingly ask up front about a venture’s business model, which was not the case a few years ago. They said that their experience at Google has made them more inclined to get the service right first, get traction, and then figure out the revenue model: basically, the freemium model.

Talking Up Their Book

The partners highlighted two ventures in their portfolio that would most likely be of interest to our readers:

For the other ventures in XG Ventures’ portfolio, click here.

Listen to the Interview

Download the MP3.