Wed, 18 March 2015
As we’ve learned about the tech industry thus far, the road to success is usually unpaved. This week we learn that becoming a VC is not dissimilar. Ellie Wheeler is a principal at Greycroft Partners, where she is a seed investor and has been investing in the tech industry for almost four years. However, getting here was not an easy or clear path, in fact, one that she didn’t even know existed. What it took was dropping out of medical school, balancing the world of Private Equity and major corporate M&A, a business school degree and exposure to the startup world filtered through Chris Sacca. Her story is a meticulous experience of writing and rewriting checklists that have helped her get to whatever next step she needed to make.
Over a couple glasses of xx Pinot Noir, Ellie shared with us the method to her madness; how in her experience, she has been able to develop a set of standards and keys for success for any startup in this industry, as well as a list of red flags. This, of course, is critical to her as an investor, as she has her finger on the pulse of business and sees trends come and go every six months. And this, of course, is critical to anyone in the early stages of the tech industry -- as founders and investors -- who are looking to be meticulous in their next steps as well.
For more insights, check out @Ellie on Twitter.
Wed, 11 March 2015
Early in his career, David Kassan lead a double life: interactive art director by day and painter by night. While designing and quickly rising through the ranks of one of the world's largest consulting companies, iXL, and later at an indie music startup during dot-com 1.0, he was simply “paying the bills.” It was when things went awry in the dot com burst, that David made the bold move to pursue his passion and threw his whole effort into painting professionally. He has never looked back. Fortunately, he did so with a solid foundation; an innate artistic ability, a fine art background from Syracuse University, and gallery representation at a major Chelsea gallery starting at age 21. It was this catalyst which lead to an unpredictable career path.
Over a couple Sixpoint beers we learned that since then, technology has followed David. From early iPad innovation and real-time painting videos helping him achieve temporary internet fame, to launching his own revolutionary design for the Palette on Kickstarter, to the interconnectedness the internet has afforded the art world, the surprising lessons David draws from his time in tech, how it impacted his painting and vice versa remain valid today for all visual, UX and product designers alike. And, of course, his position on the age old debate -- is product design art?
Tue, 3 March 2015
Spoiler alert: Caroline McCarthy ended up in tech despite her best efforts to avoid it. It’s true. After sitting down over Pine Barrens whiskey she shared her story of having an innate interest in tech, but after experiencing the isolating and stereotyping that comes with being “that kid” in school, repressed it in favor of just about anything. Not without accolades, of course, this Princeton University graduate (with a degree in the History of Science - what?) and champion rower, found herself without real direction upon graduation. In an effort to pursue her lifelong interest in writing, she entered the working world as a journalist for CNET, covering the budding tech startup scene in New York City. And that was when the gig was up and she was catapulted back into the world she could no longer actively avoid.
Years later her career boasts more than her long standing tech journalism career, but a tech marketing gig at Google, as well, working on projects like Google+. However, after seeing how the industry works on both of these, often very opposing sides, she has decided to join a “startup like” company where she is able to make lasting change. These days you can find Caroline fighting the good fight as the Vice President of Content & Communications at True[X], where she is helping to help pioneer the future of media and call out the too old smoke-and-mirror games played by the digital display world… and trying to solve for what comes next.