Blog

  • When and How to Make Your First Product Hire

    I get one question from founders all the time: When is it time to make my first product hire? Normally a startup founder is a visionary who is deeply involved in the product experience. She is the person closest to the problem the startup is trying to solve and intimately familiar with what needs to be built. But eventually, that’s too much for one person to manage alone. I joined Airbnb as the first product manager (PM) when the company was 35 employees. The eighth engineer joined the…

  • Tiburio: Investing in Traditional Drug Development in the Era of Big Science Platforms

    For the past ten years I have been a biopharma investor at NEA, and in that time I have witnessed the drug industry truly enter the genomic age.  With technologies such as gene and mRNA therapy, gene editing, CAR-T and other cell therapies, we are living in a time of unprecedented potential (and peril, as demonstrated by Chinese researcher He Jiankui’s rogue experimentation with gene editing on two human embryos).  The public markets (and in some cases, strategic acquirors) have…

  • How Hiring Entrepreneurs Enabled Airbnb’s Success (and Launched a New Generation of Founders)

    When I left Airbnb last year, I was delighted to join a group as dynamic as the company itself: the Airbnb alumni. And I’ve been intrigued, though not surprised, to learn how many of those bright and creative professionals are developing their own startup concepts. After all, our time at the company trained us to do just that. Employees of one great company seeding the next generation of startups is the circle of life in Silicon Valley. It started with Fairchild…

  • Investing in Marketplaces at NEA

    After a nine-year hiatus from venture, during which I was building the product team at Airbnb, I am thrilled to be back, investing in consumer technology as a partner at NEA. The opportunities today are far greater than they were in 2009, in the doldrums of the financial crisis. It feels like a step function change in the level of activity that is occurring in the startup ecosystem. Entrepreneurship has been democratized. Technology has seeped into the lives of everyone around the world,…

  • Things are Getting Hot in Metal 3D Printing

    *This post was originally published on LinkedIn As I’ve participated in the digital revolution of manufacturing over the past decade, I’ve come to believe that productivity will be redefined by the “Four A’s:” artificial intelligence, analytics, automation and additive manufacturing. Among those forces, additive manufacturing -- or 3D Printing -- may be the most disruptive. I saw it first-hand at GE – one of the world’s largest manufacturers -- as the…