John Lilly calls himself an “alpha nerd.”
it is a trait that is served him neatly in recognizing tech startups early and investing in them.
He joined Greylock in 2011. it is where he’s led funding in Dropbox, Tumblr, (later received via Yahoo) and in Instagram, which facebook offered in 2012.
So what’s his MO for picking funding targets?
“whilst you see alpha nerds, and that i qualify as one, move to the use of one thing in an instant, it’s a sexy sturdy signal that it’s going to become important,” he said.
He remembers when Mozilla (the company in the back of Firefox) caught his eye in 2005.
“similar factor. Firefox was new and everybody was once beginning to move over to it,” stated Lilly.
Lilly joined Mozilla in 2005 as VP of industry construction, become its COO a year later and sooner or later rose to CEO in 2008.
“by the point I left, four hundred million people were the use of Firefox,” he said. there have been just 7 million customers when Lilly joined the corporate.
Lilly left Mozilla in 2010 to take a look at something else.
“I had needed to do investing for a while and used to be interested by the appropriate firm to join,” said Lilly.
He settled on Greylock, where he reconnected with Reid Hoffman, also a accomplice at the firm. Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn and used to be additionally on Mozilla’s board of directors.
Lilly is a bonafide techie. He studied laptop programs engineering at Stanford, followed through a graduate stage there in pc science with a focal point on human pc interplay.
it can be that nexus between expertise and client habits that captures his fancy as an investor.
“Dropbox has something so obvious in that regard,” he mentioned. “Dropbox has achieved something so glaring and important. everyone in the world needs storage that works throughout units and to share with others, and it just works.”
And Tumblr, he mentioned “uniquely captures the zeitgiest of youngsters.”
He likes Quip, a cell phrase processor app, and ClearSlide (both Greylock investments) quite a bit, too.
“Quip [has] rethought the word processor from the ground up, however in a technique which is actual to all the raw materials of cellular: multi-screen, contact and actual-time,” mentioned Lilly. “the result is something that is acquainted like word, but in addition people use in new ways.”
And ClearSlide, a sales administration platform, “is a a perfect example of a useful app that is in-built a way that is sensible for how we work collectively these days,” stated Lilly.
“ClearSilde has constructed tools that lend a hand people actually close gross sales, but in a up to date method through using the cloud, cellular and information analytics to assist sales groups engage better with their shoppers,” he said.
despite the fact that Lilly is laser curious about gamechangers within the tech enviornment, he mentioned no business is proof against disruptive ideas. “it can be health, finance, even the government,” he stated.
there may be one house, alternatively, where he’s keen to see disruptive considering take impact.
“There isn’t enough range in tech, including women,” he said. “My experience is that issues are set to vary. i am confident despite the fact that things aren’t excellent sufficient yet.”
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