Open Listings (acq. by Opendoor), FeaturePeek (acq. by Netlify), Guilded (acq. by Roblox)
My parents left the Soviet Union in search of a better life when I was very young. In San Francisco, they started out cleaning and painting homes. Today they’re entrepreneurs -- they both code more than I do.
I grew up on early versions of the internet, hacking together my own games and sharing them on IRC. Nothing beats tinkering and building something for your friends.
I’m glad I didn’t take the cushy corporate job right out of school. My first two startup experiences worked out well enough but success was hard won -- layoffs, pivots, failures, and painful fundraises during the 2008 crash. I learned far more than I would’ve on a smooth ride.
At Parse, we set out to change how developers built apps -- reaching millions of developers and powering hundreds of thousands of apps. From writing the first lines of code, managing the acquisition to leading the team as a semi-autonomous unit inside Facebook, it was both hard and great.
I led all of Facebook’s developer products including early efforts to build a developer platform in Messenger. It was a big change. Product-market fit and scale trump all. Facebook focuses on only a few important things and re-evaluates methodically -- which is a huge advantage.
Investing at Matrix is my way to continue building. From building startups to angel investing to working at Y Combinator, I’ve fallen hard for the gritty work of the early days.
The best startup ideas come from an obsession with fixing personal pain points. Even so, it takes exceptionally rare drive to choose the hard path and will something into existence from nothing.
The best thing about being a Founder-CEO is the privilege of leading a team that takes on your vision and mission as their own.
The hardest thing about being a Founder-CEO is managing your own psychology. You have to get comfortable with being very uncomfortable. You have to discount the daily blips. Internalize them, swallow them and steamroll through.
Tell me your war stories and I’ll tell you mine. I want to sympathize, offer guidance and suggestions. I care and will be there, no matter what.
B.S., Computer Science, Operations Research and Information Engineering
M.Eng., Computer Science