Tel Aviv — Israel
Is culture important?
Is oxygen important?
How do you coach your founders?
Much more through asking questions than giving answers. I want to be their partner, confidant, and sometimes psychologist, not their parent or their teacher. It's much more generic than specific; our founders are smarter than me and know much more about their industries than me, so I want to challenge their thinking and logic, push against their biases, and encourage them to be bold.
What don't people understand about Israel's tech sector?
From the outside, probably a lot. But the thing that struck me the most from the moment I arrived was how incredibly collaborative the entire industry is. Everyone understands 1+1=3 and is prepared to work together, give their time generously, share their ideas, knowledge & contacts, all for the greater benefit of industry. This applies to entrepreneurs, investors, government, education, service providers - in a typically competitive environment, this is incredible to see.
How did your last job equip you for this one?
My last job was driving strategy at SEEK where I learnt a lot! Specifically, relevant for Square Peg was the importance of a great culture, and of travelling with carry-on luggage only – ask Paul next time you see him!
What was your biggest failure?
Saying no to a team and business I loved because the valuation was too high. Twice.
What's unusual about Square Peg?
We call our weekly global team meetings "MMMs" (Monday Morning Meeting) despite them neither falling on a Monday nor a Morning. They are Meetings, so 1/3 isn't too bad.
What is similar between Square Peg and the founders you back?
When we think about what's most important, we think 1. People. 2. People. 3. Daylight. 4. People
What impresses you in the first meeting with a founder?
Passion. Clarity. Intellect. Desire to solve a massive problem that is meaningful for the entrepreneurs. Just being good, fun, humble people.
What are you good at that you didn't expect to be?
Braiding my daughters' hair.
What's your greatest frustration?
Poorly stacked dishwashers.
Where's the joy in your work?
My primary job description is to find amazing people doing amazing things and try my best to help them be amazing. Where's not the joy?