My name is Jonathan and I like magic.
After spending a decade investing at Foundation Capital, 17 years as an operator, founder of three companies, builder of a +$100m-revenue business, and being the first marketing leader at Facebook, here’s what I’ve learned about magic:
For startup founders, magic isn’t magic. Startups aren’t romantic. They’re brutally hard, drawn out, bare-knuckle brawls. They’re often incredibly lonely wars of attrition with yourself.
And while being smart is a prerequisite, it’s not enough to guarantee success. And it certainly doesn’t matter what school you went to, or who you know, or who your friends are.
In fact, the only thing that determines whether your startup succeeds or fails is you. Your tenacity. Your focus. Your dogged determination to carry on through the rejection, muck and crap and dark times.
But here’s something else I know. When you build something people love, find product/market fit, and those numbers start to go up to the right, it kinda feels like magic. In part because the thing you’ve just spent every waking moment on is actually alive in the world, breathing on its own for the first time. And also because all those people who believed in you – both inside and outside the company – finally see what you see.
That’s the magic I’m talking about. And it’s that magic that I love. And now I get to play a different part in helping founders find their magic. And it’s why I love what I do.