How do I become the next Andrew Chen? :)

(Pradeep Kanagaraj) #1

I am a Technical Program/Product Manager at one of the unicorn ecommerce companies, my aspiration is to become a partner at a venture capital firms like A16z or Sequoia. Where do I get started? :slight_smile:

(Andrew Chen) #2

Start writing! I moved to the Bay area 10 years ago and just published everything I was learning. There’s always room for that, as long as you’re learning a lot and good at explaining. Just have to put in the time.

(Andrew Chen) #3

Also- two articles about getting into VC in particular:

Both of these are excellent and mirror my perspective to the business

(Darren Cassidy) #4

Any tips for developing your ability to explain effectively? Just write a lot or are there some key learnings that could help us? :slight_smile:

(Andrew Chen) #5

Read a lot, and write a lot.

Also I put together a bunch of lessons here:

  • Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning
  • There’s always room for high-quality thoughts/opinions. Venn diagram of people w/ knowledge and those we can communicate is tiny
  • Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity – stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down
  • Think of your writing on the same timescale as your career. Write on a multi-decade timeframe. This means, don’t just pub on Quora/Medium
  • Focus on writing freq over anything else. Schedule it. Don’t worry about building an immediate audience. Focus on the intrinsic.
  • To develop the habit, put a calendar reminder each Sunday for 2 hours. Forced myself to stare at a blank text box and put something down
  • Most of my writing comes from talking/reading deciding I strongly agree or disagree. These opinions become titles. Titles become essays.
  • People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it. You’re a journalist with a day job in the tech industry
  • An email subscriber is worth 100x twitter or LinkedIn followers or whatever other stuff is out there. An email = a real channel
  • I started writing while working at a VC. They asked, “Why give away ideas? That’s your edge.” Ironic that VCs blog/tweet all day now :wink:
  • Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later

(Justyna Trofimiuk) #6

Thanks @andrewchen for the summary! So, I need to start writing.

(Pereira) #7

A super interesting ressource for everything VC related is this :

Helped tremendously when I was looking for VC advice.

(Matt Quinn) #8

@andrewchen I look at your Linkedin somedays. Did you really start with a finance spin?

(Pradeep Kanagaraj) #9

Hi Andrew, Thanks for the answer. I am looking at this post after a really long time. Lot has changed in the last 6 months for me. I moved from Seattle to SF and from Ecommerce to Self Driving Cars. Making slow progress towards my VC goal :slight_smile:

(Pradeep Kanagaraj) #10

Thanks Yohan. Let me take a look.