Are you my next Chief of Staff?


This post is by Phin Barnes from sneakerheadVC - Medium


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I believe in this opportunity because this role was the start of my own path at First Round.

(The job description is available here. Please Apply now by going here.)

I want to add some more context around this role and hope that it helps you decide to bring your talent to the First Round team.

I have a ton of respect for this role because I did this job for Josh before we called it Chief of Staff. I went to board meetings and working sessions and then worked with the founders who were already in our community. I did what I could to help them achieve their goals and learned how the best startups operate.

Although this job is not an investing role, it is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the startup industry. The two or three years you spend at First Round will serve as a spring board

your own career. People who have worked with me in this role have gone on to investing; joined a hyper growth startup; and, most recently filled a new role at First Round. Make no mistake, this is a tour of duty, but if we do it right, you will get way more than you give.

From finding ways to expand the First Round community and build our brand to supporting founders after we partner with them, as a Chief of Staff, you will get up every day to shorten the distance from inspiration to action for our partners and our founders. You will connect me and the founders I work with to the knowledge, people and companies we need to have maximum impact.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best founders as they navigate the challenges of building companies from the ground up. Your service will support engagement in the First Round community and unlock access to best practices in design, product management, HR, sales, engineering, operations and more. On top of that, we will work together to tackle research projects, stay on top of trends and expand First Round’s network in new areas of interest.

If you believe in the power of technology and entrepreneurship but don’t think this role is right for you because VCs are not your people — don’t look like you, love like you, share your life experience or understand where you are coming from — I hope you will keep reading so we can explore this role and see if it is right for you. I believe Diversity debt is real in tech and in VC and want to ensure the opportunities our industry creates are accessible to everyone. I am looking for a thought partner to collaborate with me on work that supports an industry that is more diverse and inclusive. I am looking for someone to help increase my team’s diversity of thought, diversity of experience and diversity of network.

If you are wondering how I work, here is some context. I do my best to keep a sane calendar, to be direct in my communication and listen with clear intention. I work with the amazing students and alumni at Dorm Room Fund and try to appreciate the role of luck in any success that I achieve. This podcast is a good overview of my approach to venture and my thoughts on working with founders.

If you are known for finding the most efficient way to achieve your goals, take ownership of projects and operate independently, have a unique way of building and maintaining relationships and want to serve founders so that they can deliver their best work to the market each day, please complete this application, and I’ll be in touch.


Are you my next Chief of Staff? was originally published in sneakerheadVC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.