Why VC? 20 Questions

As some of you might know, I’m currently in my last semester of my MBA at Yale, and (still) looking for a full-time job in NYC. (All the interesting ones come at the end, right?!) I’ve predominantly been targeting VC firms, as well as a couple of startups, mostly in the commercial real estate space.

I recently answered the following questions for a seed stage firm in New York, which was meant to get at the question: why VC? Since then, I’ve shared it a number of times, so I figured I’d put it up here.

What has been your favorite job you have held and why? Tenant Rep Brokerage group at CBRE Chicago – in a very short period of time, I watched early-stage, high-growth companies completely transform the face of the city.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life? Becoming fluent in Khmer – the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done.

What are your 3 core values? Respect, Integrity, Gratitude

Why are you interested in venture capital? What motivates you? I love learning new things, meeting new people, and helping entrepreneurs be even more awesome. I’m also passionate about bringing more diversity to the face of tech and VC.

Have you ever been #1 at something? What? I won the award for the best senior honors thesis at Berkeley… on the history of Cambodian dance.

How do you learn new things? By immersing myself in the issue. I also ask a lot of questions.

How do you set goals? When you don’t achieve a goal, what do you do? I’m a big believer in SMART goals. I set them regularly, and reevaluate them frequently. If I don’t achieve a goal, I try to understand why, learn from it, and move on.

What are your 3 favorite hobbies/pastimes? Cooking, photography, adventure travel

What thing about the internet/tech do you think is true that most people think is false? That people’s demand for constant connectivity and content will, at a certain point, begin to decline.

Are you in love with the internet? What about it are you in love with? I am not in love with the internet per se, but am rather in awe of its ability to reach a vast portion of the earth’s population and impact people’s lives. It is the epitome of scale.

If you were a VC, how would you start building a network in tech? What types of entrepreneurs would you focus on trying to connect with early? Having spent a considerable amount of time working with the faculty, staff, and students of SOM’s entrepreneurship program, I think that universities are a great untapped resource. I also think female entrepreneurs are an underserved market with large upside potential.

Why do you want to work in venture instead of working at a startup? Interpersonal and intellectual stimulation and diversity – lots of people, with lots of different ideas and experience/expertise, working in lots of different roles, companies, and industries.

What is 1 tech product you admire that you use for work? Google apps suite

What is 1 tech product you admire that you use for play? Trulia

What is 1 tech product we have probably never heard of that you like? http://www.bfmuir.com/home/2015/1/31/ski-tracks-a-love-story-of-apps-analytics-and-adoption

If you could invest in any private tech company right now at the valuation of the last round, which company would it be? Mattermark – I admire Danielle Morrill as an entrepreneur and think she and her team are building an incredible product with great potential for expansion into other markets.

What spaces that people focus on right now aren't interesting to you? bitcoin the currency (though I am interested in the underlying blockchain technology), cybersecurity, phablets

Name 3 examples of great online brands. General Assembly, Warby Parker, Harry’s

Name 3 examples of great offline brands. J.Crew, PUBLIC Chicago (hotel), Linus (bikes)

What is the coolest designed site on the internet? In its mobile form, Instagram – there are plenty of beautifully designed sites, but Instagram’s impeccable UI/UX allows users to get what they are looking and intuitively and efficiently.