- We invest in seed stage companies. Sometimes, just the proverbial two guys in a garage.
- We believe that 70% of the early success of the company is determined by founders, 20% by product and 10% by the market. A strong founding team can fix the wrong product; a revolutionary product can disrupt an unappealing market.
- We look for founders who are motivated by a desire to, as Steve Jobs famously said, “make a dent in the universe".
- We invest with the belief that a strong team is more likely to succeed than a single, strong CEO.
We follow a few simple guiding principles:
- We go out of our way to help our founders when they request it. We can help in every aspect of building a company - finding investors and advisers, hiring, introductions to enterprise customers, operations and supply chain, sales and marketing.
- You can expect a response from us within a day, often within a couple of hours, any day of the week.
- We cultivate and celebrate a diversified portfolio of companies with founders of all backgrounds and strengths (we'd love to see more female founders!).
- We avoid healthcare and companies outside the SF Bay Area. A really impressive founding team may be able to change our mind.
My life's journey has been contrarian from its outset. I was born into a family of lawyers and was expected to continue the tradition in India; I decided to do engineering and move to the US. After school, I switched fields entirely from chemical engineering to electronics. I only got my first job after sending over 200 job applications, and reading the first few chapters of an introductory electronics book on the cross-country plane ride to my interview.
By choosing the path less travelled, I've had the privilege of leading technology development, operations and business units at companies like Maxim, from early start-up days to a company with a $10B market cap, and Fairchild, the founding company of the Silicon Valley. I've led operations, business units and entire companies at every stage of a company's life cycle.
Through it all, my first loves have remained the same: new technology, new products and growing things from zero to one. The transition to investing in early stage companies has been natural - nothing short of a perfect fit.