(disclosure: David Hirsch is a Taboola advisor)
For entrepreneurs, one of the constant concerns is about funding.
How to get it, how much, who to get it from, how long will it take, are they strategic, will they help when needed, are they pro-founders or pro-share-holders, does it matter if they are nearby, or is it ok if they are on the other coast, and many more questions.
A few months ago, I had a catch up session with one of our managers, and we talked about the importance of managers knowing the job, just as good as they know how to manage. That’s why people that become managers from the ground-up, first doing, then doing a bit more, manage one person and then manage a few – have a meaningful advantage. Nobody they’ll hire will ever wonder how they got the job, and those managers will have the resilience of being there first, breaking the glass ceiling, and selling that first deal.
Do I think managers can just manage? could be, but I’ve never met a (good) manager like that yet. In my humble opinion, managers that are not personal ninja contributors, or cannot demonstrate an ability to be one if needed, will have a real challenge growing a strong team under them. There is a reason why in war, the commander is first in line, not last — leading by example and not by rank. It’s ok if the head of R&D won’t write the best or most code in the company, and it’s completely ok that the head of sales is not making most of the sales. But it’s a risk if as managers, most of what they do is behind the scenes including emails, meetings, and strategy. Commanders need to know how to fire and hit, and build a culture of “doers.”
Today I’m excited to share that a good friend of mine, David Hirsch, launched his 2nd fund at Metamorphic. I met David last year for the first time where he was introduced to me as a “very early Googler who became a VC” in New York. I thought that was an interesting way of describing somebody. We met and the description made sense. David is probably one of the most unconventional VC you’d ever meet. He wears t-shirts and jeans and speaks as fast as he thinks. He remembers the day he joined Google (with AOL’s current CEO and Chairman – Tim Armstrong) to launch Google’s NY office, and when their annual revenues were $2M (which is about 30 minutes’ worth of revenue for Google today)
David wanted to help entrepreneurs to build great companies, but his approach was a tad different. Instead of going to find traditional Limited Partners for a fund, he first wanted to test a concept and started with some of his old buddies. Imagine having a large group of top executives who are now, few years later working for Google, Twitter, Facebook, eBay, AOL, Amazon, and others just ready to answer your questions and help. How can we build enterprise sales organizations that scale? No problem, let’s connect you with a Google VP from the DoubleClick team…, you need to ask Twitter about their sponsored content model? No problem, one of the LPs is actually working in that department. You’re looking to hire a CTO? Let us connect you with someone from PayPal to see if she can help; she’s an investor at the fund. These are the types of answers David had hoped to answer for founders, and his goal was not to ask for favors necessarily, instead, create a foundation of an alumni-like network of LPs that have current jobs in places where entrepreneurs need an “in” or a piece of advice. It doesn’t hurt that David himself spent nearly a decade at Google during a time when everybody in the world wanted to do business with them, and that his ex-manager now runs AOL.
I wish David the best of luck building a VC that “can manage, but not just manage.” For founders like myself out there, having folks like David deciding to commit himself to helping fund our next dream is a real plus.
When a StartupMan starts a VC.