Technology is changing the world at an increasingly rapid pace. As an angel investor, I'm looking for companies that will be able to have a significant positive impact on that change.

World View
Taking that a step further, I believe there are two key trends that will drive this change over the next decade.

  1. Computation is continuing to undergo step function improvements.
    • Currently, there are three specific areas that are driving these improvements:
      • Decentralized computing (aka blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies)
      • Intelligent computing (aka AI)
      • Computation platforms
        • Smartphones have almost complete global penetration and are the primary form of connection to the Internet and other forms of computation.
        • New platforms like Voice, AR, and VR are now at a point development wise that they are attracting the attention of users in the early majority from Crossing the Chasm.
    • Innovation in computing is endless and new forms will continue to arise (e.g. quantum).
  2. The world is becoming more digitally native.
    • This is partially driven by the global spread of smartphones and other computation platforms.
    • This is also driven by the fact that new generations of the population are being born never not having known a digital world. Gen Z is the first such generation and as they enter the work force and build purchasing power, the evolution of technology will only increase in pace.
    • This will lead to an increased blending between the real world and digital world. So much so that the distinction between the two will cease to exist. As a result, the way we work, earn, play, and live will all change.

Sector & Stage
I'm sector agnostic. As computation improves and the world becomes digitally native, the sectors we once understood will change, and new ones will arise. More so than being focused on a sector, I'm focused on how things are changing.

I invest in companies at the pre-seed or seed stage. This is driven by two factors:

  1. Venture investing operates by power law, which means less than a handful of companies you invest in will return the majority of your investment value. Given the check sizes I write to get an adequate portfolio spread to able to invest with a power law mentality, I will only be able to get in and generate meaningful multiples on my investments at the pre-seed or seed stage.
  2. When I invest in a company, I'm looking to provide value beyond just money. My expertise and value add is in product development at the earliest stages of a company. How do you get your first users? How do you find product market fit and begin to monetize? How do you build a product organization and hire your first product managers and designers? These are questions startups tackle at the pre-seed and seed stages.

Evaluating Startups
Given all of that, I apply three lenses when evaluating startups to invest in:

  • What unique insight does the team have on a problem space or community?
  • Why THIS team in particular?
  • How is the team leveraging technology?

If what you're building lines up with my thesis, please reach out!

Last update July 14, 2021.