This was a very busy, exciting, and challenging year.
It was year that brought a new facet to my identity: mom, and working mom at that. I want to tell that story as part of a longer post with data viz, though, so for now I’ll simply state that it is both wonderful and very hard. And that my baby still hasn’t slept through the night.
I was fortunate to have spent 2014 as part of two great teams. First, my team of two: Justin is my better half in too many ways to list. This year he became a dad, and we muddled through twelve months of learning how to Xander whilst sustaining a two-career household.
Second, the OATV and O’Reilly Radar folks: truly, some of the most brilliant, perceptive, and thoughtful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. For three and a half years they’ve inspired me, introducing me to new ideas and challenging me to think about a wide variety of concepts both at scale and in fine detail.
It was a great year.
For 2015, I’m going to change things up a bit.
First, I decided to leave full-time VC for the time being. It’s been a great run, I’m very proud of the teams that I’ve been fortunate enough to back and work with. I’m planning to stay in touch and add value where I can. But as I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, while the pull of venture was strong, the pull of drilling into one particular problem ultimately won out.
For a few years now, I’ve been an avid reader of stories about shipping. I’m a logistics geek…no doubt drawn to the space because of some deep-rooted ENTJish obsession with efficiency. In February, while on maternity leave, a friend on Facebook posted an article about container shipping that I’d read and loved. I pinged him, found out it was something of an obsession of his as well. We chatted frequently, bought textbooks, shared insights and discoveries. Tossed around a few ideas for what a startup in the space might offer. I worked on connecting with people in the industry for market research, setting up calls with ocean freight executives in Denmark and China at night when the baby was sleeping. Eventually my friend decided that a container shipping caper wasn’t for him, but connected me with two other logistics geeks with a similar vision and the drive and brilliance to make it happen.
A round began to take shape with some truly top-notch angels and VCs – including OATV! And I decided that I was really excited about this…too much to only participate in a role as an investor. So, that’s where I am now. Haven. We’ve been heads’ down working for a few months, and I’m really excited to share what we’ve got on the way. I also get to say that I’m working on disrupting ninety percent of everything, which is pretty damn awesome.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll connect the dots around how this relates to hardware – my main area of focus as an investor. I’m still going to be investing in hardware, with a particular focus on connected devices. Except now it’ll be as an angel, and as part of the Internet of Things Syndicate on AngelList. My fellow IoT Syndicate-rs include the brilliant Helen Boniske and Jeremy Conrad of Lemnos Labs, and the indomitable Gil Penchina, who’s boldly rethinking what it means to be an early investor in startups. (I’ll be writing a bit more about the abundance of potential and exciting opportunities for AngelList Syndicates later this week.)
So, I’m starting 2015 with a book that’s almost complete (finally!), a new gig, and a new paradigm as an investor. I’m truly lucky and very excited.