Empathy is the foundation of our work. We need to walk miles in the shoes of both founders and senior technologists so we can appreciate their needs and offer advice that is much more accurate, personalized, and specific.
Mission First, People Always
I always knew that I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. It’s why I decided to become a U.S. Marine after the events of September 11, 2001. A decade and two deployments later, I found my way to tech as a place that would challenge me in new ways and where again, I could be part of something bigger. Silicon Valley has a way of naturally creating productive accidents since we’re all constantly surrounded by innovative and creative people. That’s how I found myself at Greylock.
The Marines have a saying: “mission first, people always.” It’s hard to do both, and at Greylock, I try to live out that maxim in the relationships I build with founders and executives. Our mission is to support our portfolio companies to excel in their domains, and we always have more work to do. Empathy for founders and their teams is essential. They are the ones working day and night to build their companies, and it is impossible to ignore just how much they devote themselves to the task. Our work isn’t just about pursuing excellence; it’s also about being there for entrepreneurs through all of the emotional highs and lows. The same is true for senior enterprise technology leaders. They face incredible pressure to perform while the technology world constantly changes underneath their feet.
The Product-Market Fit Magic Moment
Observing the moment that product-market fit clicks into place is an experience that thrills me every time. When it happens, you can almost see the lightbulb turn on for an entire leadership team. It is quite literally watching a powerful idea be born. My team is always working toward that moment. That’s the instant an entrepreneur’s questions go from the broader “what should I build?” to the execution of “how can I deliver this to as many people as possible?”
Veterans in Technology
My generation of Post-9/11 veterans has been the beneficiary of enormous public support, and we have a permanent responsibility to be worthy of that treatment. It is important to pay that support forward to other veterans, including veteran founders. For instance, Zach Scheel — the founder of our portfolio company Rhumbix — served in the U.S. Navy as a “Seabee” in the Construction Battalion. Similarly, there are many veterans working in important roles at our portfolio companies, such as Alfredo Hickman at Obsidian Security. Our shared background as veterans gives us a common language and creates implicit bonds of trust that are essential for our work. Being a part of the transition for my fellow veterans when they end their service and become civilians gives me enormous satisfaction.
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
These strategies will help you generate and build consumer loyalty that lasts.
Proof of Value is the New Proof of Concept
Insights from Connecting Large Enterprises and Startups
Getting to Nimble
Agility as a Business Strategy