What is your investment focus and why?
I am particularly interested in macro trends in the enterprise and infrastructure software world, specifically, the transition to cloud computing and away from legacy architectures. I fully believe that the future of data center architecture and the future of application architecture look like cloud computing architecture. It’s scaled out, it’s utility-based and globally-distributed. The entire IT ecosystem is going to transform to cloud architecture over time. This shift will be of the order of magnitude of the shift from mainframe to client-server that we saw in the 90’s. This is the type of change we only see every couple of decades and it offers a big opportunity for startups.
What is your approach to forming a relationship with an entrepreneur?
I build deep relationships with our CEOs. Ensuring that they feel comfortable around me is incredibly important. My entrepreneurs like to call me because they can say whatever is on their minds and know I won’t freak out or judge but I will help them bring structure to their thoughts and get to the bottom of whatever problem they need to solve.
What unique contributions would you make to a company as a VC?
I make great coffee! I am the barista at Trinity and a master of the Chemex but I can prepare coffee in many ways from French press to AeroPress to Technivorm. I don’t do espresso yet but hope to master the art soon.
On a more serious note – I have unique lens. I was the second employee of Wily, the company that invented application performance management, where I built the first version of the company’s product alongside founder Lew Cirne (who later went on to found New Relic). I was also one of the co-founders of Flurry, the leading mobile analytics and advertising network. I’ve seen three complete “rounds” of transformation (the first devops revolution, the rise of mobile, and the cloud/devops transition), all as a developer, technologist and product oriented entrepreneur. I transitioned carefully and deliberately into the role of investor, and am now thinking from a broad strategic perspective as a VC. My entrepreneurs appreciate how I can help them marry product and business strategy, while keeping an eye on macro trends in technology.