I’ve always been fascinated by revolutionaries and their ability to see the world as something different than what it is today. It’s as if every fiber of their body cannot accept the status quo.
Entrepreneurship is a lifelong infatuation. It stays in your bloodstream forever. There is always a new problem that needs solving
The best entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of recessions; they’re afraid of stagnation. In the depths of the Great Recession, Hassan Ahmed started an ambitious wireless startup: Affirmed Networks.
We spent months flying around the world meeting with wireless carriers and learned their biggest problems were cost and performance. Hassan replaced hardware with software to create a cloud for mobile operators.
CRV invested in 2009 and I joined the board. In March 2020 when the pandemic tossed the world upside down, Microsoft bought Affirmed for $1.35 billion.
I think of my job as providing a steady platform from which founders can take the biggest leaps. When I first joined CRV I did this as an investor. In recent years, I’ve taken on the additional responsibility of leading the firm’s founder support functions, such as legal, finance, marketing, investor relations, talent and our powerful CXO network.
A number of our LPs — which include some of the nation’s leading endowments and charitable foundations — have been with us for decades. Maintaining those time-tested, trusted relationships makes us a more reliable partner for our founders. Ensuring a stable base of capital gives me the power to ask founders my favorite question:
I have never once in my life experienced boredom. Complacency is the enemy. I love to be in action; to see things constantly changing.
Earlier in my career I was a journalist. I spent a fair amount of time trying not to get shot while covering wars in various hotspots around the world for The Boston Globe.
I also covered tech at The Wall Street Journal. That’s where I got passionate about entrepreneurship and technology.
After spending so much time interviewing some of the world’s most successful tech entrepreneurs, I learned that to become one of the greats, you need a particular mindset and personality, which is to be uninterested in doing anything that is iterative and instead be forcibly driven toward revolt.