On The Next Venture

I’ve been thinking about how I was going to write this post for a while now. Of course, I didn’t anticipate that I would be writing at 2 AM local time in London, where I’m currently visiting to speak at FOWA in a couple of days (that talk also just got potentially much more interesting).

Stuff happens. Fortunately, sometimes, so does jetlag. 

Enough with burying the lede: yes, I’m becoming a VC. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m joining CrunchFund as a general partner. It’s my honor to join Mike and Pat in that role. And I thank them for the opportunity. 

Before I say anything else, I should also make something clear: as Erick states in his post, while the timing of this announcement may seem a bit odd given the recent drama involving AOL and TechCrunch and well, CrunchFund, this move has been a long time in the making for me.

For the better part of the past year — ever since the AOL acquisition — I’ve been approached about all kinds of jobs. Other writing gigs, startups, and yes, venture jobs. The latter was particularly interesting to me, and I decided to take several meetings with a few different firms over the last year.

I was eyeing the end of this year as a potential date when I may take a step back from writing and engage the VC career. Mike, Heather, and Erick knew about this. But nothing was set in stone.

In the midst of my venture meetings, CrunchFund became a reality. Given that Mike knew my interest in venture, we started talking — again, before the drama started.

Then the shit hit the fan.

But in many ways, that made any decision to leave TechCrunch harder. It was something I had worked hard to build with everyone else over the past few years. I didn’t want to see it weakened any further. None of us did.

With that in mind, I was also able to keep the dialogue open with TechCrunch, and we figured out a way for me to keep doing what it is that I do best — the Apple beat — while also pursuing this new career. I’d also like to thank Erick and Heather for that opportunity. In a way, it’s fitting that this is happening on the eve of a massive Apple event

Starting in a few weeks, my main attention turns to startups in a whole new way. Given what I’ve seen and learned over the past five years writing about these young companies, this next move is going to be exhilarating.

For all the talk of “bubbles” and crazy valuations, I think most overlook something very fundamental: technology continues to permeate all of our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine just yesterday. This will only continue to increase over time. Technology startups are at the forefront of this. What we’ve seen up until now is just a taste of what is to come.

As for CrunchFund itself, I think we’re really going to be able to shake shit up in ways the venture community hasn’t seen before.

I’ve gotten to know Pat over the past several weeks; he’s excellent at this job. He’s also the only one of us with any real VC experience — which we’re gonna need a lot of. He should have broken off on his own long ago, I’m glad he waited.

As for Mike, we’ve obviously worked very well together over the past few years for a reason. We’re different in a lot of ways, but almost all of them complement one another. We destroyed tech blogging and redefined it. That’s the goal here as well.

I posted this quote from John Lilly (now also a VC) a few weeks ago. It fits here:

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, back when I was 23 and newly out of school, is this: look around and figure out who you want to be on your team. Figure out the people around you that you want to work with for the rest of your life. Figure out the people who are smart & awesome, who share your values, who get things done — and maybe most important, who you like to be with and who you want to help win. And treat them right, always. Look for ways to help, to work together, to learn. Because in 20 years you’ll all be in amazing places doing amazing things.”

I’m 29 years old. I’m turning 30 in a month. I just made one of those 20-year decisions. 

There’s so much more to say. Luckily, I happen to have this blog to say it. Perhaps the name isn’t quite as cute as some, but it will do. I plan to post here regularly. 

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