They say time flies when you’re having fun. And in what felt like a blink of an eye, I look back and realize I’ve spent over 12 years at a16z. And what an unforgettable ride it’s been. When I joined, there were fewer than 30 employees. I knew everyone’s kid’s name, I knew their dog’s name. Back then we had to work hard to introduce ourselves to founders as some hadn’t heard of us, and the operating value add model was still unproven on Sand Hill Road. Restaurants aren’t plentiful on Sand Hill, most of us had frozen or microwaved lunches. But I remember those days fondly, even back then we all were excited to work because we each knew we were building something different. Today the firm is over 500+ with 6 office locations, its operating value-add has raised the bar for all venture capitalists, and the firm continues to grow in vision and impact.

For me, it all started when I first joined a16z, I had won the lottery and was paired with the one and only Jeff Jordan who taught me how to evaluate ideas even before they’re launched. He modeled how to work with integrity, competitiveness, curiosity and humility and I could not have picked a better venture investor to learn from. A few years later, I learned how to communicate from the queen of marketing herself Margit Wennmachers, who alongside her team helped me find my voice and gave me the courage to use it. And I am grateful for the entire partnership, especially Marc and Ben, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime when they promoted me to be General Partner, ending the firm’s long standing rule of 9 years to only hire general partners who had been CEO’s or founders.

I remember right after the promotion was announced feeling like I had won a slot on the olympic team. I now had a chance to compete on the world stage, but I still had to run the race to win, and I could not let my teammates down.

In the last 5 years I’m so grateful to have partnered with visionary founders who imagine the world to be better. I’ve developed my own method of investing and have learned to trust my insights even when they aren’t obvious. 

  • Kobold Metals – My first deal as a general partner. While outside a consumer scope, this thesis and opportunity literally kept me up all night. I could not sleep and found their approach to solving the climate crisis as innovative, commercial, and most importantly, inevitable.
  • Whatnot – This eBay 2.0 commerce platform does more than empower sellers to sell with ease; buyers and sellers create friendships and there’s a sense of belonging. You never feel lonely on Whatnot.
  • Cider – I love companies that give people confidence, and clothing is one way to get it. Being able to try new styles and colors at a great price, shopping without having to think too hard, is what Cider’s all about.
  • Glorify – Faith is one of the strongest types of identity. Glorify gives people a modern and safe place to explore and grow their faith. A platform where people can be fully known, fully accepted.
  • And numerous other startups that we haven’t announced – companies building for a better tomorrow in recruiting, second hand shopping, education, skills training, real estate, commerce infrastructure, and so much more.

I’ve come to see working with startups as truly exciting and impactful work, startups push boundaries of what’s possible, they can improve life so fast for so many. I love seeing a startup grow from a dream to a global phenomenon. I love seeing founders mature in their leadership, finding themselves in the process. I love seeing hope in someone’s eyes.

So what’s the announcement? There comes a point after 12 years where you either double down or figure something else out. I have an adventurous streak in me so after a lot of thought, I’ve landed on the latter. I’m still a loyal a16zer but will embark on something new. I will keep all my board seats and companies, and I’ll be there to help any of my partners, but I’m going to step back and spend some time forming theses for my next chapter.

There are many folks that I’m grateful to…

  • Marc and Ben, true mavericks who rewrote the rules of what venture capital could look like. They’ve forever changed Silicon Valley and we are all better off for it. 
  • Jeff Jordan, my coach who shared his hard earned operating and investing insights with me. I could not have picked a better mentor or kinder leader to learn from.
  • Margit and the marketing team, for creating a platform that encourages original thinking, provocative ideas, and importantly new voices. This was pivotal in giving me more confidence in my instincts.
  • Frank Chen, my first hiring manager who took a bet on me and for many years taught me investment frameworks.
  • The broader tech media landscape that started to cover global technology and Asian startups closely starting in 2015. I loved collaborating with them for their important reporting work that continues to shape everyone’s world views. This has always been a highlight for me.
  • LP’s who trusted me with their dollars and time to find the next batch of winners. I’m honored to serve your initiatives.
  • Founders who inspire me with their dreams, determination and willingness to be vulnerable to feedback.
  • All of my a16z colleagues, for teaching me new things everyday.
  • And most of all my family, for supporting me when I had late nights or work travel, or when I was signing a term sheet on December 31st (true story). We all know I could not have done it without you. 

Thank you for an unforgettable decade. I’m excited about phase two! You can always still find me on X and LinkedIn.