Blog

  • The Investor’s Dilemma: What Matters Most?

    People often ask VCs: What is the most important thing to look for in new investments? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer is actually pretty complicated. We look for disruption, and we look for impact. We look for teams and companies that are solving problems and challenging the status quo. More than anything, we look for the right people—for entrepreneurs who have a certain spark about them. Very rarely, the stars align so that all of those factors—the team, technology, and market…

  • Powering Real-Time Insights for Growth with Attest

    For a long time now, I’ve been drawn to the consumer insights and market research space—both as a consumer and investor. In fact, through the course of studying promising consumer companies over the past few years, I’ve spent no small amount of time designing and deploying surveys on consumer behavior, including fumbling through various non-intuitive survey creation workflows online, struggling to find the right target audience and then ultimately abandoning the exercise altogether upon…

  • 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 same…

  • 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,…

  • Digital Transformation Requires Leadership

    *Originally published on August 6th, 2018 on LinkedIn. The internet has had a massive impact on consumer and enterprise markets. However, it has had little effect on industrial businesses or healthcare. In fact, most IT investments on platforms such as ERP, CRM or EMR led to improved communications or compliance but not substantial enhancements in productivity, quality or growth. That could change, but success is not assured. The next wave of tools is transformative: data, analytics, digital…