Here’s some background on me.
I started my career in the environmental movement. First, I worked for a couple of “PIRGs.” Then I spent several years on the staff of a national student environment group, which at its peak had 30,000 members on more than a 1,000 campuses. We tackled climate change, environmental justice, and a range of other issues long before they were mainstream.
In 1995, I abruptly changed course when one of my closest friends from college, JJ Allaire, convinced me to drop out of graduate school, move onto a couch, and help him build his new company: Allaire.
Pioneering the web application server market, we grew Allaire from 10 people and $500k in revenue to a publicly listed company with 750 people, more than $100 million in revenue, and a peak market cap of more than $2 billion. I spent most of my time behind the scenes running strategic marketing.
In 2001, we merged Allaire with Macromedia, and I took over as VP, Marketing for Macromedia. There I worked with Kevin Lynch, Jeremy Allaire, and the rest of the MACR crew to define and implement the strategy for shifting Flash from its place as a web animation plug-in to a new position as the platform for Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and online video. In 12 months we repositioned the company, defined a new category of web applications, and launched 14 new products including three 1.0s. Fun and exhausting.
I left Macromedia in 2003, and helped JJ start another company, Onfolio, with several awesome engineers from Allaire. Onfolio was a desktop tool for managing the content you found searching the Web. The company was sold to Microsoft in 2006, where the team went on to build Windows Live Writer.
After Onfolio, I wandered around India and South East Asia riding on old buses and the backs of pickups for five months. On a visit to the states, Jeremy Allaire convinced me to toss out my one way ticket to China (literally) and join Brightcove. I spent three and a half years there running marketing and strategy. We launched a bunch of products and had a blast pushing online video into the mainstream of the media industry.
After Obama was elected, I heard the call to combine building businesses with doing good, so I said goodbye to Brightcove, walked down the street to General Catalyst, and began working as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the clean tech team. In 2010, I co-founded a new company, Corefex, in the smart grid and building automation market. Corefex was a fun ride, but ultimately the market opportunity wasn’t as interesting as we’d hoped, so we shut it down.
It took a lot of looking, but eventually I found another opportunity to build a billion dollar software business and make the world a much better place. The new company, which I’ve helped to co-found and now lead as CEO, is building an open source platform that will be the computational storage fabric for precision medicine. We make it possible to use genomic and biomedical big data to diagnosis and treat a wide range of diseases.
Since 2009, I’ve also been actively advising and angel investing. I mostly work with CEOs helping them build their businesses and solve their hardest strategic challenges. It’s awesome working with incredibly talented entrepreneurs and leaders. When I have time, I try to capture some of what I share and learn from the entrepreneurs I work with in this blog.