by Giovanni Rodriguez
Originally published in Forbes. Reprinted with permission from the author.
On a bright weekday morning last Spring, I found myself stranded outside a small, non-descript building on Howard Street in San Francisco, desperately trying to figure out how to get in. I got the address right, according to Google Maps. But there was no sign on the building, and no obvious way to enter. Three thoughts/feelings occurred to me. One, an easier portal into the space would have been welcome. Second, the experience felt like a test. Third — and perhaps the most persistent sentiment, because I feel it to this day — it was actually an appropriate experience because of the people inside that building.
Perhaps it was a test. The people inside that building were Stewart Alsop and Gilman Louie, founders of the fast emerging VC firm Alsop Louie Partners (one of their first big scores: Twitch, which sold for almost $1 billion in 2014; more about that at the end of the article). It’s a special firm. I knew Stewart from a startup he invested in more than 10 years ago, and recently met up with him to check out one of his most recent investments, a startup called Hover which enables contractors to use a smartphone to create an accurate 3D model of a home and which they can later use to spec, price, and do work on the home. After the meeting, Stewart and I chatted briefly. I was impressed, I said. (Read more...)