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Ravi Gupta
Ravi Gupta

Our founders are building the future. Helping them on that journey is the best job in the world.

When I joined Instacart, grocery delivery was a Silicon Valley ghost story. The team didn’t care—they wanted to do it differently. I admired that moxie.

Creating something from nothing is a remarkable thing. I have a lot of respect and empathy for people who take that on.

I’m a big believer in focus. There’s tremendous value in identifying the one or two things you need to accomplish next and saying no to everything else.

A few weeks after I started at Instacart, I called every portfolio company I had worked with in my previous role as an investor and apologized for ever starting a question with, “Have you ever thought about... ?” When you’re leading a company, you’re always thinking about it.

Picking the right partners is so important. Leading a company can be incredibly lonely. You need people around the table who you want to talk to when it feels like nothing is working. We were lucky at Instacart to have the board that we did.

Output metrics are important, but they are lagging indicators. If you really want to know how your company is doing, you need to understand the leading indicators, too.

I’m excited about so many things. One of them is to see how wellness technology evolves. Getting more data is going to result in people being able to make real changes to improve their lives.

I think we’ll be surprised by what does and doesn’t get automated. Some people’s work will be displaced, and we all have a responsibility to figure out how to navigate that. But automation is also going to elevate a lot of the work people currently do and create new industries altogether.

Growing up, my parents were demanding yet supportive. Sequoia reminds me of them—the team here somehow manages to be both.

My parents taught my brother and me to be honest and to live with integrity. Do what’s right, even when no one’s watching.

When I’m making a tough decision, I ask myself what I’d tell my kids if they were in my shoes. It’s clarifying to think about the advice you’d give to someone else, especially someone you love unconditionally.

We went from 300 employees to 1,000+ while I was there. It taught me how to scale culture, maintain focus, the value of clear communication, and that a leader’s job is to ask the right questions, rather than try and provide all of the answers.

Every founder is different. To be useful to someone, I first need to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.

The best founders think big. If you want amazing people to join your team, you have to have a vision.

I keep two index cards on my desk. The first one says, “Bring joy.” The second one is a quote from Tom Izzo, the basketball coach: “It’s not because you’ve got to. It’s because you get to.” They remind me how lucky I am to get to do what I’m doing.