Figure Out Who’s On Your Team

I haven’t written much yet about my experiences during my first year on the VC side of the table — I’ve been pretty busy just learning, doing, trying to process everything as I go.

Along the way I’ve met a LOT of new people — entrepreneurs, investors, designers, scientists, on and on. I’ve always had a pretty large network of friends and colleagues, but this year it’s pretty well exploded — I’ve gotten to spend some time with amazing, amazing people I hadn’t really spent time with before.

But the interesting, and maybe counter-intuitive thing I’m finding is this: as I’m meeting so many more capable and awesome people, my core group of collaborators — the folks who I’ve built companies and careers together with over the last 20 years — while I see the core group less often, I’m finding that the interactions I have with them to be much more valuable.

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.

That’s turned out to be true for me. Knowing who’s on your team — or as Reid likes to say, who’s in your “tribe” — has been critically important for me, even though I don’t see them all as much as I’d like.

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