Over the last 8 years, I have been fortunate to be in a really interesting position that – until now – I haven’t previously spoken or written about because my time was fully spent building products and companies. But at the urging of my team, I think it’s due time I pay it forward (the same way others before me have done and from which I benefitted), so hopefully the lessons shared in this blog will be directly applicable and beneficial for you.
I’m a co-founder of 500 Startups, an early-stage venture capital firm that provides funding & resources to nearly 1,000 technology startups around the world. My career over the last 8 years has largely been based in technology entrepreneurship, venture capital, market & brand development, content, sales & business development, and digital media. It’s an unusual and lengthy mashup of skills and learnings acquired during a pivotal time in the technology market cycle. As a result, I’ve often found myself right in the heart of the Silicon Valley machine…
I’ve seen lowly founders become mega-watt tech celebrities. I’ve seen highfalutin VC’s fall from their thrones, and I’ve also seen many who held onto their fiefdoms. I’ve watched large corporate giants launch game-changing products, acquire companies, change strategies, expand markets, fail miserably, and endure economic storms. I’ve seen entrepreneurs rise to stardom, fall from grace, and repeat the addictive process multiple times. Most importantly, over the course of curating content for entrepreneurs I’ve had the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with many of the hands who rock this cradle…the founders, investors, and executives that win, lose, and shape our industry.
This is a chronicle of all the things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, an investor, a marketer, and an educator. I’m not claiming to be “right” or to have all the answers, but I am aiming to be transparent about the lessons (many of them tough ones) I’ve had along the winding path of my professional journey, for which I am eternally grateful.