One of my great joys was partnering with Evan in the building of Snap. To build a productive relationship, you need to have trust and know where you complement each other. I try to understand where founders are strong and where I might need to support them so that they can realize the ultimate value of what they’re building.
As a kid, I got into coding because it offered me a sandbox where anything seemed possible. In college, I teamed up with a friend to join hackathons. One year, we made it to the Facebook Global Finals. That drew the attention of recruiters and I realized this could be more than a hobby. I was in the final stages of interviewing at a big tech company when I met Evan Spiegel at Snapchat. Snap was building beautiful and novel products that solve real human needs. . I realized that what I loved wasn’t just coding—it was that sense of boundless possibility that I felt when I was younger.
Over the 8 years I spent at Snap, I was responsible for growth and product. Because Evan is a product-focused founder, my job was to put the right stuff in front of him that would enable him to make the best decisions he could. I would then put together a plan and a team to make the product successful and enable the company to grow sustainably. Internalizing a founder’s vision for the product and helping them develop and operationalize it felt like my sweet spot. And I realized Greylock is where I could play that role to the next generation of founders.
I’m looking to partner with founders like Evan to help them on a similar journey of building an enduring public company.
From the beginning, Snap felt like a human-centered company. One of their earliest hires was a sociologist named Nathan Jurgenson, who was probably the first person to write about social media from a psychological perspective. In college, when I was deciding between tech and med school, I read Nathan’s work and became obsessed with it. His hiring at Snap signaled to me that the company cared deeply about the way people interacted with their product.
That’s the way I want to help founders build their companies. I’m not interested in pointless growth hacking or engagement maxxing. I want to understand customers and figure out how we can create a product that solves a real need and feels natural when they use it.
The next wave
We learned from web3 that you can’t just build technology for the sake of it. A product can grow fast if it’s cool and novel, but if you don’t balance novelty with utility, its enduring value will never be realized. That remains true in the age of AI. Building an amazing model is just the first step; you can’t just ship raw technology. The founders that will have the most success are those that can go super deep on a technical level but can also understand how to solve real human problems while making the technical complexity disappear.