Mike brings a specialized mindset to the broadest of goals: growth. He focuses on helping founders identify, maneuver, and systematize their growth levers. He has led unannounced investments in companies across several focus areas: those building underlying technology/infrastructure to empower modern commerce, marketplaces (both B2B and B2C), and platforms around the shift of consumer engagement toward audio.
“As entrepreneurship grows increasingly distributed, enablement of the longer-tail is creating some of today’s most interesting opportunities.”
As an investor across commerce, marketplaces, and network-oriented businesses, Mike leverages his past experience as an operator to help founders assess where technology can be applied creatively to scale growth, product and marketing. Having overseen both nine-figure marketing budgets (across both digital and offline channels) and scrappy product-oriented growth teams, Mike understands what both healthy and unhealthy growth look like — and works with founders to help them leverage technology and product to drive growth.
“The best businesses see growth become more — not less! — efficient with scale. Most interesting growth models have a loop or system where the output is reinvested back into the input to create a compounding effect. Too often, businesses that take a traditional funnel-oriented view and become overly reliant on paid marketing end up seeing degradation, not efficiency, with scale.”
Prior to Greylock, Mike was the first in-house growth hire at Stitch Fix, where he built and led the Growth organization and developed a set of core operating principles that helped take the company through IPO. At Stitch Fix, Mike’s team leveraged the company’s strong foundation in personalization to establish a new discipline around driving measurable, sustained growth. Before that, Mike was the first growth hire at Tilt, where he built and oversaw multiple teams, including analytics, marketing, community, and growth product. He also served on YC’s growth advisory council, is a growth lecturer at Reforge, and was a growth advisor across various VC firms and startups.
Mike’s success in evolving the user acquisition and growth capabilities of early-stage, product-focused companies comes from his obsession with data and a belief in the power of experimentation. He rejects the notion that growth can be hacked, and instead emphasizes the importance of building the right team, growth model, operating principles, and experiment frameworks.
“While the adage “growth solves everything” is still common in Silicon Valley, there is a stark difference between healthy, compounding growth vs. manufactured topline that can crumble on a weak foundation,” says Mike. “The best founders have a clear, simple articulation of their growth model and resource the company behind this understanding.”
Mike says the bulk of his career decisions go back to his tendency to optimize for learning. He thinks the best founders are relentlessly, even obsessively curious, yet also find some counterbalance to (or within) this hyper-committed entrepreneurial life. “It’s no coincidence that many of the best founders combine their intensity with a great sense of humor!” Mike credits a large part of his (forced) balance to his toddler, who helps provide perspective and prioritize what’s absolutely necessary on a daily basis. “Mindfulness can be found in most environments,” as Mike finds those moments in daily runs or musical endeavors.
Earlier in his career, Mike was a consultant with Bain & Company and worked in the Private Equity practice. Mike holds a BS & MS in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Stanford University.