How would you describe your work before you joined Vision Fund?
My original background is in civil engineering, which turned out to be useful for business, because it’s really about understanding how systems work and how they work with each other. From there, I went to the University of Chicago for my MBA, and worked in strategy and global market operations. Over the years, I’ve worked on enterprise software and go-to-market operations for some very fast-growing companies, and I was the chief strategy officer for VCE, where I also ran global operations.
I’ve had a varied career, but if I were looking for a theme I'd say it’s businesses working on something big and new.
How does that background serve you now that you're part of Vision Fund’s Operating Group?
Well, in terms of scope and ambition, the Operating Group itself is definitely big and new! That's what attracted me. The thesis of complementing the traditional work of an investment fund with a group of operations experts who can get into the weeds with companies and add value—that whole idea is very exciting to me.
What's the most inspiring thing about your work?
I'm working with companies that are doing things that haven't been done before. Just in terms of scaling alone, the potential to help companies grow by two or three times each year by expanding into new geographies is incredible. It’s a huge opportunity, and from an operations perspective, it’s a big challenge to get it right. I love being part of building the systems and strategies they need and then making sure that they all work together.
How do you help founders evaluate opportunities?
I think it's different for each company and each founder, but for all of them, there are initial questions of scale and breadth that we explore. One of the first things we'd look at with the founder is the customer opportunity. That doesn't just tell you how much you can grow but how you should sequence that growth. Then we look across our ecosystem. Are there synergies with other companies in our portfolios? Should we make introductions? Help structure collaborations? It’s about asking questions and supporting founders to find the right answers and the right strategies to support those answers.
Relationships come first. We need to develop strong working relationships with founders before we can do anything else.
What philosophy drives your work?
Relationships come first. We need to develop strong working relationships with founders before we can do anything else. We aim to function as an extension of their team—helping them access as much value as possible from the SoftBank ecosystem. I think there’s something powerful that happens when you combine our perspective as informed outsiders with a founder’s deeply personal knowledge of their company. It’s not about replacing one with another. It’s about bringing them both together to create something new.
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