“You can’t fix everything, so you might as well focus on what really matters. What are the biggest core problems you need to address? Work relentlessly on those.”
For as long as I could remember, I’ve been an avid listener. My dad worked in the public markets, so the conversation at our dinner table was often about companies—what was working, and what wasn’t. He and my mom are both accountants by training, too, so finance was something I learned about early—maybe even earlier than most. I would listen to them talk about everything. Eventually, I found my voice in those dinner time conversations. I remember being 8 years old and learning about how interest vs. principal payments for mortgages worked, and declaring that it was too skewed towards the banks—there had to be a better way.
Listening to customers was the best part of my job both as a software engineer building online exam software in college, and as a product leader at Segment and Twilio. The best aha moments came from hearing why a feature we were so excited about wasn’t necessarily working for a certain customer, or what we needed to build to solve their next problem. The journey of building new product lines and constantly shifting to the next big challenge is both fascinating and hugely rewarding to me.
Looking back, I always found myself trying to understand the bigger why. Why did this work for certain customers and not others? Why was the industry shifting towards one direction and not the other? My curiosity has always been how the world is changing—and listening has always been a key part of getting to that aha moment for me.
On the lookout for
Data and infrastructure is a place I’ve spent a lot of time and I think is fascinating. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes in both of these areas. I’m also curious to learn more about climate tech. It’s clear we need to do something for the planet, but it’s not just that—there are also great businesses to be built.
In founders, I look for drive, commitment and a deep curiosity to always be building a deeper understanding of their customers. Ambition, too—are you trying to do what everyone else is doing, or something truly novel? I love a big, challenging space. When we talk, I try to dig into the details as well as the big picture. How are you actually going to do it? And I want you to challenge my thinking. You’ve spent 100x more time than I have on this problem. You’re the expert. It’s my job to help you get where you want to go.
I’m especially fascinated by the process of defining a new category—creating something that didn’t exist before, pushing the world forward. That’s the impact I want to have as a partner, whether it’s in data or climate or whatever else. I don’t know exactly what’s next! That’s the fun part of this job.Get in touch with Lauren
Skiing / Cooking / Good hikes / Forward progress