Patrick Mathieson is a partner at Toba Capital where he leads Series A and early stage investments in B2B software and vertical SaaS companies.
Patrick led the investment in PatientPop and is on the boards of Boulevard, FlowQast and one we just did together, Candid Wholesale. Very exciting.
Patrick is also a prolific writer. Check out his SubStack, The Down Round. Patrick, thanks for coming on the show.
The overview on Toba. So we've been around for about 10 years. You could think of us as early stage B2B software generalists offices, the HQ in Newport Beach. That's where we grew out of. We kind of come out of a company called Quest Software. Something interesting about us is we're a single LP evergreen structure.
One individual provides our capital. His name's Vinny Smith. He was the, uh, chairman, CEO of Quest software. People that have done B2B or enterprise IT type work in Orange County, probably know that.
The business was acquired by, in 2012 for around 2.8 billion. Vinny was the largest shareholder by far. So Toba is part of Vinny's family office. And Toba is basically the early stage venture vehicle as kind of a part of Vinny Corp. And so we kind of have tried different things over time and different venture disciplines, but the thing that we think we're pretty good at is early stage B2B with an emphasis on SoCal.
how many deals we do a year.
We'll probably add, you know, 12 to 15 logos in a year. Um, that's a lot. Yeah. But some of those are small positions. I mean, I would say like the thing that we look to do is lead series A's, or Series A like deals. Um, they might be called C or B, but sort of in that, series A range and maybe a 10 million check.
how would you describe like, the reputation of Toba or like when you're trying to win a deal, like what do you put forward?
Yeah. I mean, tough question. I mean, I think we're working on a reputation and getting a little more, well-known in general. I think back in the day we were probably a bit mysterious. Um, people were probably wondering who the heck, we are. And we're, I think we're a bit tied to the personality of our founder, right?
And so you know, he's a certain type of investor and certain type of capital. . and the firm is sort of outgrowth of him. And so, you know, when you think about what Vinny did in Quest, Vinny acquired a company, you know, very small. I don't remember if they had revenue or not at the time when became the principal shareholder, but very small, small number
like a private equity or He was an investor?
he's an interesting story. So he started a company called Patrol Software. He sold that business to B M C. prior to that. He was in the oracle telesales org and he was Mark Benioff's boss, uh, among other things, and was like early in that Oracle mafia,
He sold that business to bm. And then he actually co-founded Inside Venture Partners out of New York City. Stuck around not for very long cause he didn't love being a VC so much. And, uh, he found Quest and sort of just dumped everything into Quest, into making Quest
Wait, He started Insight,
He was like the co-founder that didn't stick around of insight with Jeff Horning.
Wow. Okay. But you said Toba is a little bit tied to his personality. Um, I mean, that's a little bit of like what he's done. how would you describe his
Yeah, so, well, I was kind of getting into Quest. Like Quest is a company where he sort of went very long in a business very early and compounded it a long time and turned it into a platform business.
So I don't know what the revenues were in the beginning, but I think they were certainly sub 10 million in annual Took that to over a billion, um, I think 4,000 employees when the business was sold, , he actually didn't wanna sell it. It was -kind of a like a bidding.
With various folks, including Dell Silverlake, who ended up buying the business. So you know, the idea is go long businesses that are kind of in this enterprise B2B space and own them as long as possible. And that's kind of what the Toba business is set up to do. If you're an evergreen fund. We don't have these like, 10 year holding periods.
We don't have a bunch of LPs to return capital too. We basically have a pool of capital that we sort of grow like a pie over time. And basically we're trying to find, you know, 5, 10, 15 more quests to do that over again.
Yeah, I like this. So you're a pool of capital that grows like a pie.
bad, uh, mixed metaphors.
No. No, but good. Um, I wanna just grow my pie of capital, I guess. I, don't know. Um, so does that mean that, you know, let's say you lead a. series that, do you Then put more capital in the B are you thinking of growing ownership?
I think part of the mandate is you get to be flexible, right?
So there's no set thing that we do. But I think when we do our best work, the way I describe it is, I'm gonna mix metaphors again, but two big bites of the apple. So maybe you lead the A and then lead like an A extension maybe double the check size and then find you know, a great growth partner to lead the rounds beyond that.
Leaving that second round, we own, you know, perhaps more than you would after traditional a maybe we own 20, 25% and then dilute a little bit down from there rather than starting at, you know, 12, 15%. , and you know, kind of going downwards from that point.
So if we can pull that off the two bites of the Apple strategy, that's been some of our best work.
and I said at the beginning, um, and you can correct me, but I said B2B software, vertical sass , and some of that was just looking at patient Pop Boulevard. Candid. Those are all vertical sass.
Tell me about you and your investment.
That's definitely my territory. So we have, a couple partners who work on different things. We have one partner named Naraj who's sort of like the very much enterprise guy, so cyber security you know, database, like big price point, enterprise tools.
That's definitely not me. I know very little, but enterprise, I know very little about it. But I know a lot about SMB platforms, and what is it that you like about that? And
do you think it's kind of hot right now. It feels kind of like a lot more people are talking about vertical SaaS, at least
I don't know if it's hot, but I would say, you know, seven, eight years ago, I mean, people called a lot of those investments uninvestible for, for TAM reasons. I guess Tam and, um, churn, right? I mean, that's sort of the bugaboo with these s and b products is that, you know, they, they pay too little.
The market is too small and they go outta business and they churn Poorly. And so that was kind of not a crowded category when we started going into that space. And, you know, we also came from the enterprise space and sort of, this is a new territory for us going into this sort of SMB zone.
, I think what we did along the way is learned a couple things about how to actually succeed in that category. I think one way is is segmentation. So basically like patient pop's a good example. You know, you don't want to be serving every independent doctor's office. You wanna serve basically like the upper tier of subspecialties.
So in that case it's like dermatology. It's cosmetic surgery, it's ob gyn. Those are like high ticket price items. Those. Folks that uh, that running the business have a lot of discretionary spend maybe they can use to pour back into growing their business.
Those guys don't have churn characteristics like bottom of the barrel SMBs. They have them like mid-size enterprises.
Hmm. When you talk about, looks more like an enterprise SaaS business, one, what does that mean? And two, do you, see these um, someone else used the term like, Full service SaaS or something where they're just doing more, and more, they're getting into FinTech.
Like what are you seeing there?
Yeah, so I mean, , in one way, I mean the retention profile. So like you know, obviously best in class net retention in b2b SAS is like 130% plus try doing that in regular smb, you know, selling into real estate agents or something where like a quarter of them like leave the business , every year.
That just is totally, I. . I think the other vector is price point.
And the way you can go to market around that price point. So if you have like a $50 a month B2B product you just can't do telesales, you can't do outbound sales. You certainly can't do door knocking, field sales just, does not work. If you. 600 or $700 a month product. And maybe it's something like Boulevard where you're also doing payment processing.
You have modules that sort of layer in over time and there's an upsell motion. Can you sell on the phone? Yeah. If you get into the medium business part of SMB where it's like, well, yeah, it's salons, but like we're a six location salon. You know, that could be.
$70,000 annualized deal you could two call close on the phone. Probably not two call close, but you know, like close in a month. Mm-hmm. . Um, that's when you can build big outbound teams. Tough to do that in just totally horizontal smb.
that in. Mm-hmm.
I mean, one thing we talk about sometimes is like every company that we work with goes, usually when we're investing at the seed stage goes from like
founder led sales to actually building out their sales.
motion. Like, do you give a lot of thought. to What sort of sales motion and how to coach companies on that?
I mean, every company is bespoke, it's all, it's all different, And I think one failure point is, you know, hiring too many folks we had one company in particular where the first BDR they hired was so, That they hired 15 more. And it turns out that the one BDR was just like a unicorn and basically like the model didn't work, but they were just scaling off , the wrong person.
So I think it's trial and error. I think it's a runway exercise, especially now. Right. I mean, been talking to Canada about that. You guys gotta try a bunch of things. Inbound out outbounds marketing assisted like channel and you just gotta find one that works before you run outta money.
Mm-hmm. kinda the story of startups. So patient pop came first. Maybe tell me a little bit more about patient pop and then, you know, what you saw going into Boulevard, you know, Tell me some of those
Yeah, totally. So, I've only been living in LA for three years, but part of why I moved down was just all this you know, great traction and, and just like warm embrace of these awesome LA companies.
But I met patient pop when I was living in, in San Francisco. Um, this was 2015 and they were a Sub one millionaire company.
of love at first sight. Totally hit it off. With the co-founder, Travis Schneider who's fabulous. He and Luke Kervin are just like phenomenal entrepreneurs.
But it was coming off , their seed round, so there was no room in the seed round and it was sort of like, Hey, let's get to know each other I would say probably the sourcing process I'm most proud of, uh, in my career because it really was kind of a delicate dance, was like, Hey you know, finding reasons to be in la, finding excuses to be down and, uh, you know, to get, coffee or beer with those guys.
I think we had a monthly check-in between starting April in 2015, kind of through Labor Day. And by the time Labor Day rolled around they were gearing up for Series A. They were growing. 50% month over month. And, uh, I haven't, you explained what the product is, practice
Well, they're b they're basically, uh, like a HubSpot for independent medical practices. So like a marketing automation platform, sort of inclusive of a website, web presence, seo patient recall, kind of everything you would have in the front end of your office, but built for, I.
So they were growing like a total weed. And I think we did a really, it was, this is myself and Rob Meinhardt, the partner I was working with at the time. I think we did a really, really good job of building a relationship over the summer. And I remember when they called us and said,, I think it was Labor Day.
And they said, look, we wanna go to market in October to do this deal. But if you guys can start your work now and get it done by the end of September, then we'd love to do a deal with you. And I remember shaking hands and akini with them over a price on the series A and. , I think they grew 400% the following year.
And, um,that business is now I wanna say like 200, 300 times bigger than when we invested. , it was a really fortuitous deal.
Wow. That's great. So you got to know them. You liked the model. and then was it you saw something similar when you looked at other s and b platforms like a Boulevard?
think that it was, it was very enlightening that you could, sort of, the things we were talking about before, just with , the price point of being able to, run Atel telesales model that's supporting an SMB business.
Getting very fast closes, right? Like five business day closes for a $10,000 a year product was like totally, totally incredible. It kind of broke the model for a lot of what people expect. Yeah. Um, in businesses that type. So I was like, wow. I'd like to find a lot more
of these. Yeah. And so I think one of the things I think about in Venture is like, the nice part of the job is that your edge can be really small.
Like you can find a really dorky niche thing, like what I just described, like a, you know, premium smb, vertical SAS business in Southern California, and you just need to find like one more for that to go from what deal to a thesis, right? So I started flying down here a lot , and eventually moved here and said, how do I find.
Like this and we found a handful. I think LA is very much more than the Bay Area built for a company of that,
company. Why is that?
I think that these sort of verticalized companies that are built in conjunction with industry are better built in a place that has
Yeah. Whereas in the. I think that they are much better at sort of building very high performance solutions that are sold horizontally, like without regard to a particular industry or a particular vertical, because you can sort of build it for the function, right?
So, you know, you can build like the Databricks for the Snowflake, right? Like if I satisfy data scientists and data engineers than any enterprise in the world can buy it, that's like a very bay area, a way to build a company. You shouldn't just. try to do what the Bay Area does, but worse, right?
They should try to find something that or they are finding something that they're really successful at. And I think it's this, that's my thesis.
I like that thesis a lot. Uh, So you've made these great investments. You've had the chance to sit on. Some boards with some other really great investors what have you learned from watching others so the, the partner that I worked with at Toba who sort of mentored me, Rob, , he continues to be the independent board member for Flow Cast and is like a major mentor to Mike Whitmeyer, the ceo, and he's someone I got to model off of and I think that there's this combination of being a good listener of empathy for , just how darn and hard it is to build a company.
And also sometimes like a less is more approach.
I think actually, Jim Mandolin was saying that if he, there's any knock on him as board members, that he isn't like pushy enough. How do you balance
of helping companies reach the right solution with just giving them more unconditional?
I think it starts from a place like, I kind of alluded to this with just how hard it is to be a founder,
um, of just recognizing that your view as a, as a VC is so high up and sanitized So there was one, business I worked with , a way while back.
I was the board member and then I kind of took. A six month break from investing to go join them temporarily, help 'em out with some marketing things. And one of the interesting parts was like, you know, , when you're a vc, you get the board deck and you're like, thanks for the board deck.
Like, you know, this is good. Can you tweak this? Can you tweak this? But when you're building the board deck, you're like, oh my God, this took like 60 hours. like everything is so hard and it's sort of boxed up in a way that's digestible for your audience.
And I think like starting from a place of being like, hey, like this is really gnarly , and messy and like you're just trying to gain purchase on something and just whether it's, you know, some sort of sales flywheel or, or product market fit. It's not about doing everything right, it's about finding the one thing that really will create momentum.
Maybe like a more minimalist approach to like hunting for product market fit.
or Yeah. One of your blog posts that I really liked was called One Good Idea can take you pretty
And that's kind of that concept, right?
I think so. I mean , that sort of applies to both running companies and being a vc, right? Like just
life? I, I guess it applies to life, right?
Or just like , one idea or one you know, maybe your spouse, like , one partner or one best friend or something. People, especially in my field, feel a lot of pressure to be broad and being abroad is good, right? Like it's good to have diverse interest and be curious. But feeling like you need to be an expert in everything
is a way to give yourself a heart attack. Mm-hmm. , basically. And some of the a a again, some the most impressive people I know, they kind of have this like, Hey, this is my circle of competency. You know, I'm gonna , not have ego around the other things outside in my sphere of competency.
And I'm gonna sleep better at night , and annoy people less.
Mm-hmm. like, I don't think you need a thousand mini thesis. , or I guess you can, maybe some investors are like that, but I'd rather have like three things I feel really
Yeah. And are you particularly excited about the SMB versus the mid-market? Or Like,
how do you
Think about them differently.
I am because it's what I know I am. Cuz it feels more uncrowded. Because, you know, for all the reasons we talked about these, these Bay area businesses, I mean they all, they Innovators dilemma their way of market and they go more enterprisey, more enterprisey.
A lot of the SMB stuff gets left out. And also, I'm not an incredibly technical investor and I think that a lot of enterprise invest. is sort of in these highly horizontal business applications that are like very IT centric and sort of have a lot to do with you know, the underlying technology.
And that's just not my background. And like, I mean, , if I were fascinated by it and, you know, we're reading papers about Kubernetes, like in the nights and weekends Yeah. And like maybe I'd be a good investor Yeah. When it comes to that, but I'm not, so I'm more interested I'm just more interested in commerce.
So I think that. these products that are sort of like business management platforms for a small business like that is the stuff that makes the hair of my neck stand up, I
uh, interesting. what is it about?
commerce? Like what are you thinking when you're thinking about how these businesses succeed?
I think business building is really, is just, I love it. Like, so I was business undergrad uh, university of Michigan and I never declared a major.
And, uh, I didn't wanna specialize. I didn't wanna major. I just think business building is sweet. I think entrepreneurship is awesome. Not necessarily entrepreneurship, but just like building and scaling companies like I was you know, like the kid in middle school who've been interested in like Jack Welch.
You know, I just think that stuff is, I think that stuff is cool. So when I think commerce, I just think. people that are running businesses and building them and growing them and, and employing people and pumping money through the economy and making better stuff for us all to enjoy. Like, I think that's, really
Mm-hmm. . do you think it's changing in the us? Like do you have any thoughts on just we're seeing the proliferation of different sorts of small businesses?
know. It, it seems like it's totally ra I mean, things are totally rapidly changing. I mean like a, there's all these digitally native businesses that didn't
Before in our, and are totally enable, I mean,
You hear about these people that are running these like information products businesses from Bali and making like 20 million a year, like, you know, selling eBooks or courses or communities. Like, that's totally amazing and totally cool. maybe some of that's a little bogus, but some of it's
that's a little, maybe we should go to Bali and
Maybe we to Bali. And uh, I think the like downtown square and what like retail is gonna look like is very different. So we have a couple of beds in, into four wall retail businesses.
So one of them is called Small Door Veterinary, which is a like a tech enabled veterinary clinic in New York City. You probably know Modern Animal down here. It's like the northeast version of modern. , another one down here called br, which is sort of like the Equinox for daycare.
Because, you know the Amazon and the Shopify universe is getting really, really good at getting stuff to your doorstep. So what does Main Street look like?
I think it looks more and more like highly valued services where people wanna actually be in the store and sort of experiencing community and accessing it kind of on demand and like having a reason to go there. That you can't sort of get solved by Amazon, right? Mm-hmm. , you gotta assume that n immediately, but over the long haul.
Like the first it was Walmart and now Amazon just like churning through the mom and pop retail business. I don't see how that doesn't continue. So it's like, what is. stay in downtowns? I think its business is like small door umbrella.
I find business kind of interesting almost as like, how do people organize together mm-hmm.
to like actually get something done Yeah, I personally like, and I'd be curious kind of like the way that you sort of entered the entre entrepreneurship sphere and what gravitated you to it.
But like, I, I am super people oriented and so like I come in like I'm super interested in people. I'm not so interested in technology.
Like I'm interested in what you said, which is. People come together and how people sort of like satisfy their wants and needs. Right. But other people, like I presume, I don't know David incredibly well, but he seems like he's more on the technical side and like that probably scratches a niche for him in a way that it doesn't for me.
And That's awesome.
Yeah. Yeah. It's still a bold thing for a VC to say. I still think that's a hard thing for a B2B investor to say is like, I'm not
on the tech. I think people. try to Fake it a bit.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Well, do you, do you,
I try to fake it.
Yeah. Mostly I try to fake it.
Yeah. Uh, Well, thank you. Yeah. I don't know just how I feel.
I know. Well, I've been reading your stuff and like you talk some about like being willing to be bold and say what's actually on your mind and that you you kind of say VCs tend to be a little lemming. Like maybe I'm putting words in your mouth.
I don't, I wouldn't use the
No, you didn't. You didn't use
didn't use it, didn't use the word lemming.
but I think that , are a lot of structural pressures. that sort of force certain behaviors kind of, of that, vein, Like I think VCs have reputation for being fast followers I think that comes partially from what I was talking about in that blog post about one idea is like, I think it comes from a place where you feel intellectually and. and you feel like you need to have like really grounded, smart sounding rationale for like every opinion that you have.
So that you come up impressive in these meetings. How did you,
gain your confidence?
I don't know. Reps. Yeah,
guess. And how do you, come up with your thoughts, and, this is sort of tied to your writing, which is, you know, is, writing some of how you formulate your, couple good ideas that you come up
Uh, running. So go running and then jot down ideas. Email 'em to myself in the middle of the run. And then go back home and write it. That's kind of my method
actually. I email myself when running too, but mine are more Todos usually .
All the above. All the above.
Huh. Maybe I should start thinking more stimulating things.
Am Mine are like usually. like Pick up paper towels or something, .
That's important. That's important. You know what do they say? Uh, you should edit this, but was it carry water, chop wood, or what
Oh, yes. Yeah. Chop wood,
is what I say.
Yeah. Yeah. It's all work. It's all work.
Yep. Anything else on your writing? Like, how do you think about putting yourself out there when you're writing? Do you care whether people like your writing? Do you care if they read it?
I uh, I love it. I love doing it. It's very clarifying for ideas. I like getting them out there. You know, sometimes maybe I'm unintentionally provocative and then that leads to good discussion.
But one thing I've learned is actually a lot more people can be reading than make you aware Yeah. Of the fact that you're reading. And so like I'll publish something and I'll get like, I don't know, like three or four lakes and I'll be like, okay, like. Three or four people like that. Yeah.
But then for the next week I'm in all these calls where someone's like, well, you know, were saying in this post that blah, blah, blah. And I was like, wow. that's interesting. Like, so there's all these people that are, digesting it and maybe taking something away from it and just not raising their hand that they read it.
It certainly makes me feel like I have more interesting ammunition and things to talk about when I, connect with people and have meetings. ,
cuz there's, there's a little bit of like, I feel like I know you a little bit better because
I've been stalking you.
And actually one post I really liked that was not particularly controversial. But very articulate was on gross revenue retention well, I think gross revenue retention. Totally
underrated. It's a
point. A, a as a metric. If you look at, um, so what, what I spend a lot of time doing is looking at public company, uh, investor presentations.
Mm-hmm. . And if you look at which ones report, gross revenue retention, it's almost none of them. And it's only the fabulous companies. So like CrowdStrike reports gross revenue retention. Because
Can you define it and explain why it's important?
Yeah, so it's basically like if you look at the revenue that retains after a year from your customer base, but not including the upsell, right?
So just like who sticks around and to what degree do they continue paying you, right? related one is logo retention, which is like the number of clients that stick around. That's like a similar but not exactly the same thing. But basically it's just like who sticks around and like how sticky.
is your solution. And so the really best companies you know, will have like 97, 90 8% gross logo retention, which basically means no one leaves, right? Yeah. And what you're trying to do in SA is build this like annuity stream that just goes on and on and on, and basically like you have clients that are happy to pay you over and over and more and more.
But sometimes you have these companies where it's like the net retention's really good because you're upselling a bunch of stuff into the base, but half of them still leave.
So it's like, your upsell's awesome, but like a ton of people are unhappy. The really impressive companies are high on both metrics. The companies that report that, that are public companies, like , you know, it takes huevos to do that said that. Right. Because if it goes backwards, then you have to explain
that. Right. But , yeah, really impressive you score highly on
you. Yeah. I think your point is sort of the net revenue retention can hide a
Yeah. okay. Before I move off Toba too much actually one interesting thing you said there was you took like a six month sabbatical.
and To help a portfolio company.
Did you say something like that?
Yeah. No, I did. I did. Yeah. This was in 2017.
That's interesting. Um, does Toba do that often where, the toba people get very involved with the
I think that was more of our mo in the past. I think sort of the way that we've structured the firm and what we're good at and what we like doing is changed over time.
The original thesis, so the, most of the folks that started at Toba they were executives that worked for Vinia Quest. People with tons of operating experience. The idea was sort of like, Hey, let's all be investor operator, hybrids you know, the ideal Tobi partner. Maybe be someone who's like leading investments periodically, but is also like a c o or a c o of one of our portfolio companies.
And we did that a lot and it went okay, like we had some successes, but we also had think we realized that the investor skillset and the operator skillset are just very different. Not that like there's two kinds of people like You're either one or the other, but it's almost like it's hard to be both concurrently.
Mm-hmm. . Um, it's really hard to be a good investor while you are like in a company full-time operating and, and vice versa.
I am curious how you describe the difference there, because I went straight
from being a founder to being a
vc and like one big one for me was that as a founder you are sort of rewarded on making lots of decisions really quickly and I feel like as a VC you're almost rewarded for moving a little slower.
but I'm curious how you think of the. differences.
think that's a really good, I mean, there's tons of differences. but that's a good example of like, yeah.
I mean, my observation from being in this company is like, you know, you show up at work at whatever time in the morning and like you are just pushing rocks up hill and like every day and like every piece of kinetic energy you can push into the world is like a small way of, of advancing your business.
And a lot of them won't work, but like you just have to. Like pressing the lever, you know, like constantly, constantly. Which is like, I think it's very hard to go from being a venture to getting into that mindset. It's probably easier, I think, if you're successful entrepreneur operator to go into a venture.
Cuz maybe you feel like the slow is nice.
It's hard. No, I feel like I wanna rush and make decisions whereas I think a good vc let, let's turn over another card. let's. turn over another card.
yeah,But when you stick the landing, it's kind of amazing. The CEO of, Small Door, his name's Josh Guttman, he was a partner at soft. For four years had like a really good investing career at SoftBank and then started as a veterinary business.
And he is an A plus ceo and it was amazing getting to know him cuz you know, on paper you're just like, okay, this former like SoftBank partner is like Billy, this veterinary company. Like what is this like a lifestyle thing for him? , I don't know. And it's like, no, this guy is like a gritty grit stir, like just gets after it and is really smart.
And he brings you know, some of the theory and sort of the understanding of financial markets and business acumen kind of from his VC
Did You call him gritty grit? Stir, Yeah. Okay. I like
that. How do you think of yourself? We're moving on to the personal, how do friends
how do friends describe me? Probably warm uh, warm outgoing cares about Michigan football. Too much .
Um, a little odd prob a little
odd, probably a little strange.
strange. In what dimensions?
Uh, . I, I don't know. I mean,
some of the,
just like at a little, got couple
some of the, yeah, definitely text. I have lots of, definitely lots of, uh, lots of texts, but no, like, I mean, it's stuff on the blog. Like I probably sometimes say stuff without. Super great regard for, tact or audience or whatever.
And maybe cuz uh, , I'm a nice person, it usually ends up working out Maybe resilient is another thing.
that Those are good.
Uh, What was high school like for you?
High school was very interesting. So I, it was in Illinois, uh, I grew up in Lake County, Illinois. it was kind of the tale of two halves. First half of high school freshman, sophomore year. This is a great question, by the
Was pretty, not a lot going on. mean, had some, had some friends, but just not super involved in the scene.
You know, good student kind of plugging away, but sort of quiet. And then really ratcheted up as an upperclassman decided to kind of get. Take advantage of opportunities. Did a whole bunch of stuff joined a dance troupe. Uh, I was the high school mascot. I did a bunch of things like that.
the upperclassmen years were, were
amazing. And I, I for you
and I, I have very few memories from the first two, so . Yeah,
that's fun. That's fun. you talked about how Toba has changed some. do you think that you've changed as an investor?
Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, like I'm sure if you put me back in a room with myself in 2014 when I started, I'd be very much cringing at all the.
you know, the way I was acting back then and the things that I thought were smart and and whatnot. But yeah, the thing about our firm is, one of the best things I love about it is there's a lot of room to figure out your own style. Mm-hmm. , no one's pressuring me to be like my other colleagues.
Like when I started blogging a long time ago, like one of the reasons I felt like blogging was an opportunity was because all the young people that were in venture, I could tell they weren't blogging, honestly. Like obviously I'm speaking broadly here, but like, you know, they were talking about hey, lemme explain how like a term she works or something, but like really kind of stopping short of being critical of anything or being sarcastic or.
Um, , being revealing right is sort of like buttoned up. And I get why you're, you're a young venture person and you wanna get promoted, right? And so you like don't want to ruffle any feathers or have political problems. And I really appreciate Vinnie and my team just for that attitude. Like no one's ever told me how to like, act stylistically as a venture person ever. Hmm. Which I think is a gift.
gift. and you started as an
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.
Do you think it's changed for you? Like, do you think actually being a partner sort of almost changes the way you act, just like with the different.
freedom or something?
I think if you were to pull founders about like, who are the most annoying people in the room when they're on calls of venture people? I think it's often the younger folks, because I think that the older folks have, it's like you know, getting initiated the frat or something like, you know, they've crossed the Rubicon.
They don't need to try so hard. All the time. A lot of the younger folks are often. , right. with totally good reason, like I get why they're doing that. But I think if you're lucky enough to make it to the stage where it's like, hey, like every day is not like a, a crucible or like a, um, a referendum on my intellectual capacity or my ability as a, venture person.
Then you can exhale a little bit and I think end up doing , better work. It's
perspective. I like that a lot.
Well, I am really excited to get to know you, so thanks for coming on the show. I'm really excited for Candid too.
I think it's gonna be really awesome.
Yeah. Thanks for coming on the podcast.
Thank you for having me. Really appreciate it.