Fulltime at First Round
Monday I started full-time at First Round Capital. It is exciting to be an official part of the team at here and to work with and learn from such a great group. Over the weekend I was speaking with some friends about the firm, my role and what motivated me to pursue a career in venture capital. In the simplest terms, I believe a career in venture provides the opportunity to assist in the success of others as a profession. As a life-long basketball player, the parallel that comes to mind is coaching although the level of authority is obviously different.
[caption id=”attachment_110" align=”alignleft” width=”300" caption=”John Wooden”]
There are two quotes from great coaches that I believe will inform my approach as an investment professional, my transition from “player” to “coach.” The first, from John Wooden, represents my aspiration for every conversation I have with an entrepreneur as a member of the First Round team:
“Be prepared and be honest.”
[caption id=”attachment_111" align=”alignright” width=”240" caption=”Rick Pitino”]
The second, from Rick Pitino, serves as a reminder that the outcome of each investment will be determined by the entrepreneurs who manage the company and that a good investor will trust them in critical situations:
“It’s better to have a good player with the basketball in late game situations than to have plays.”
When I was growing up I had a coach who used to say that in order to achieve a goal, you had to write it down and let someone else read it. He felt this process helped you think through your goals and then motivated you to achieve them because you had engaged someone else in the pursuit of the goal. In the spirit of this advice, my goals are to ask questions that lead to better answers than I could provide, to provide guidance that leads to more successful companies than I could build and to build relationships that last longer than the companies they were formed to support.
Please feel free to direct my attention back to this post if you ever feel I am in need of a reminder.