|Education||B.A. Duke University
M.B.A. Harvard Business School
|Known for||co-founder of Maveron|
|Spouse(s)||Stacey Rae Winston|
|Parent(s)||Minna Osinoff Levitan
I think that if you ask what's made us successful, it's because we've been fortunate enough to identify, in a number of cases, great people early. Then we throw all the resources behind them and are aligned with them.
We believed the world didn't need another commoditized venture capital firm.
I like the strategy of finding great entrepreneurs early, giving them some money, helping them a little – perhaps not as much as we would a regular core investment.
You find that you can have the best business in the most exciting industry, but if the execution, if the torch-holder, if the value-creator isn't there, then we don't make it happen.
We always talk about how you have to build a brand from the inside out, not the outside in. Brands are not wrappers. Brands are based on the values of the founders, and then they spread to the people who work for the company, and then that psychological contract is spread to the customer.
There are lots of ways to make money in venture capital, and there are even more ways to be mediocre. The industry has too much money and too many smart people chasing too few great entrepreneurs.
In the web products and services world, you have a real-time interaction with your customers, and then a real-time editing of how you as a company are doing.
We can find a great sector or business, but we're investing so early that unless there's this tenacious grit, determination, resourcefulness, ability to evolve, it won't work.
I'm saying there's plenty of money out there for great consumer entrepreneurs with great consumer products attacking really big markets.
As a lot of the venture capital world seems to be shifting away from consumer, we want to make sure that consumer entrepreneurs know there's still money available.
Some of the best ideas that we've invested in have made no sense to conventional sources.
Seattle is a fantastic place to build a great technology-enabled consumer company.