investor. founder. engineer. designer. geek.
“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.” - Charles Eames
I invest in early stage startups as a partner at Spark Capital. I am curious about, invest in, found, and build products that can create new markets. That means I don't have a singular sector focus like many investors.
Previously I was a founder at three startups early in consumer hardware IOT, social gaming/virtual worlds, and online media. One IPO, one sizeable acquisition, one shutdown, all worth the chances that were taken. I started life as an engineer, then studied art & design, and have spent most of my professional life in startups. Specialization is for insects.
The quote above from Charles Eames is one I've had around since I was in art school. It's a reminder for me that great ideas don't always come from likely sources, and we should try to nudge the world in the direction of creative risk & playful spirit if we want to continue to innovate to something better.
Startups where we led a round and I serve on the board are listed, all were early stage investments.
2021 - Descript - The power of AI in Creativity
2020 - AllStripes - A Community for Cures
2019 - Instawork
2017 - Zum
2017 - Capella - A World of Information & SAR Deep Dive
2016 - Sonder - Re-inventing the hotel
2016 - Discord - How Discord Evolves
2016 - Proletariat
2015 - Harmonix
2018 - Rare Bits
2015 - Cruise - The hard things, the hard way
2015 - North - It Takes Time
2015 - Postmates - Unlocking the city & Thank you Postmates
I don't attend many conferences, write lengthy think pieces, or promote like crazy. I like working with a small group of people closely, solving hard problems, and letting the score take care of itself. But I'm also not trying to hide, so here is some of the digital exhaust I've left over the years.
2021 - Online Communities, Hardware, and Investing Frameworks
2020 - Marketplaces with Sarah Tavel & Nabeel Hyatt
2019 - The next billion dollar companies in frontier technology
LDV Vision Summit
2016 - 20Min VC: Investing Ahead of the Curve
2016 - Investing in Disruptive Markets
2021 - NFTs + Games
2021 - OKRs
2020 - Layoffs
2020 - San Francisco & Civic Engagement
2017 - What happens when self-driving happens
2015 - Insiders vs Outsiders
2014 - Pitching your current investors
2013 - Moneyball VC Won’t Work
2013 - Startups are not a game of chess