I am near my 15th year working on, in, around the internet.
In this time, I’ve been fortunately positioned in three mini booms:
- The rapid growth of ad tech in ’08 - ’10 (Martini Media)
- The social media content boom ’11 - ’16 (Thought Catalog)
- The unicorn VC tech boom ’17-’20 (Giphy)
I’ve been in the room for $80m capital raised, the top leader on $50m revenue and responsible for ~$40m more, and in the metaphorical room for a $400m exit.
I think I’m decent at picking spots, but haven't been hugely lucky or unlucky yet, in startup terms.
A few things I've learned:
- How the system of users, content, and advertising works
- How to bootstrap a company (momentum, marketing, managing)
- What a quasi-unicorn board room looks like
- How to be a “product” businessperson
- The pros and cons of venture capital
- Building sales teams, bringing new ad products to marketers, long-term thinking to grow revenue
- The ways in which strategy is and isn’t destiny
Read more about some of my experiences: