I always loved taking things apart and putting them back together. It started with Legos and chemistry sets but really clicked with a second-hand Apple Macintosh Plus. Whether it was making scripts to solve homework problems or building Doom 95 mods to sell at school, there was something empowering and almost subversive about technology. Your only limit was your own knowledge and what you could make the machine do. No one had to give you permission.
A few years later that love of technology led to my first startup after graduating from UC Berkeley. I knew almost nothing about “startups” but loved solving problems and the quick (and often painful!) feedback loops of company building. Matrix was the first investor in that company. They showed me the massive impact an early believer and true partner can have on a company's trajectory.
That led me to start another fintech company from the whiteboard of the Matrix office. We went through Y Combinator and today it's a healthy, profitable company that processes hundreds of millions annually.
Eventually I landed at Afterpay, then a small Matrix-backed company expanding to the US from Australia. I led product and growth teams during our early blitzscaling days to get to our first billion in GMV.
Investing is an extension of entrepreneurship to me. I love working shoulder-to-shoulder with people that are crazy enough to see the future and then will it into reality.
Picasso said “When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where to buy cheap turpentine.” I believe that building a great company – especially early on – is more art than science. The best investors are the ones that can tell you where to buy the cheap turpentine.
That can mean a lot of things, but ultimately it's being a trusted partner that’s been there before. Having built and scaled multiple companies, I appreciate the huge impact that an experienced, empathetic, and aligned investor can have. It can be as a sounding board, sparring partner, or just someone to work through the million little decisions, ups and downs, wins and losses that accumulate to make a company great.
Afterpay, Head of Merchant Product
Bonsai, CEO, Founder
Work4, VP of Product, Founder
B.A., Political Economy