Why are you in venture capital?
I get to spend the vast majority of my time meeting founders who are smart, driven, ambitious and creative, while learning about a wide range of markets and technologies, and having the opportunity to work closely with a few teams on a journey from being relatively new and small to hopefully large, category-defining, and globally successful companies.
So I get to learn a lot and I get to meet and work with the most inspiring and incredible people. For a curious mind, and with the wish to have the potential to affect the status quo and drive change, there is nothing better to be doing.
What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out starting up a business?
It’s never too early to go out and get feedback, whether that is from potential customers, investors, or future hires. Get comfortable with the naysaying and critical feedback that will come your way – if you’re truly bringing something new to the world there will always be people that don’t see things the way you do. You’ve got to find that delicate balance between remaining stubborn and steadfast in your beliefs against the odds, while at the same time being receptive to the relevant feedback, data, or advice that might positively alter your path.
In addition, be in love with the process of what you do as much as the vision of what you want to achieve. Many people love the idea of completing a marathon sometime in the future, but far fewer are willing to get up and go running at 5am every day. It’s those that put the work in, and find the ways to enjoy doing so, that win out in the end.
Which book have you gifted or recommended to most people and why?
The one that I often come back to recommending is ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. It’s one of the key ancient texts of Stoicism, and, given that it’s a collection of his own personal writings and reflections intended only for himself, it’s wonderfully thought-provoking and human. It’s also a great inspiration for one’s own practices of reflection and personal development.