I angel invest in startups, usually from pre-seed to series A. Some things I believe:
- If you pay too much attention to categories, you pay less attention to complete pictures. People that change complete pictures tend to have a much bigger impact on the world.
- Good taste can't be taught.
- Expertise in an industry is neither necessary nor sufficient to dramatically change it.
- Thesis investing is stupid. I never in a million years would've thought of anything like Earth, Loyal, or Varda, yet they're shaping up to be incredible companies.
- You have to be harsh to be excellent, though ambition doesn't entail sacrificing kindness.
- More people should do hardware.
I’ve invested in over 50 companies, including Daily, DoNotPay, Eight Sleep, maude, Spring Science, Texts, Traba, and Varda. My typical check size is $50k (it will go up or down based on involvement needed). I'm an LP in several funds, including LGF, MKT1, and Shrug; if you're worried about a conflict, please ask. I only invest my own money and have no plans to raise a fund. (And, if you're trying to get into angel investing, I highly recommend working with First Round.)
Process For Founders
Your time is valuable, and I don’t want to waste it. Here’s what I’ve found helps me make the most of it:
- Email me a deck or memo covering at least these things:
1.1 What's anomalous about what you’re doing?
1.2 What’s your unique insight?
1.3 Why you specifically, and why now?
1.4 What have you built so far?
- I’ll send feedback and questions via email. If it seems like a fit, will schedule time.
- If in Bay Area, would love to meet in person. Zoom is ok too.
- After the meeting, will get back to you within 48 hours. Usually I can make a decision in that time, but occasionally find it necessary to check back in a week or two (to get a better understanding of how you work). Will let you know if that's the case.
Where I Can Be Helpful
I’ve worked in product at companies that have scaled from under 50 to over 1200 people, from series A to IPO, through the best of times and the worst of times. I've built both highly technical developer products and elegant user facing products, used by tens of millions. I’ve worked closely with (and often as) adjacent areas like business development, customer support, design, developer relations, marketing, and sales.
But, my specialty is building world class products. Where I’m best:
- People: I’m available to mentor product managers (or whoever effectively fills that role) on your team and help interview new ones, including executives.
- Process: I can give feedback on how your company thinks about, plans, and delivers products, as well as help you come up with ways to improve them. This often includes hands on work like reviewing specs, roadmaps, and org design.
- Product: I can use and provide detailed feedback on your product and early designs. I have strong opinions about products and won’t hold back. :) (If you'd like a testimonial from a company I'm a user of but not an investor in, ask the team at Linear.)
I'm a student of Silicon Valley and love being a sounding board for any hard problems you’re thinking about, even those outside of product. If it’s not an area I’m knowledgable about, odds are I can intro you to someone who is.