Operating Partner #215

Happy Thursday <<First Name>>

Neil Pane has a good article about the Boston Celtics on FiveThirtyEight. Tonight kicks off Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics did not look like a Playoff team at the beginning of the season but really turned it around in the second half. They are playing well and as a now Boston area resident, I am rooting for them in the Finals. Do not worry however, I’m still a loyal NY Knicks fan.

I saw Top Gun 2 this weekend. Apparently lots of other people did too. I was super impressed with it. I love how the Director took scenes from the original film and reenacted them for the modern one. Such a well done movie and I loved it.

If you are looking for a new job or career change and would consider one of our early-stage venture-backed companies, check out the Bain Capital Ventures job board. If you don't find something there that is appealing, check out job boards from USV, A16Z, Bessemer, Sequoia Capital, Homebrew, and Greycroft. Many folks ask me about how to find jobs at startups… this is literally the easiest way.

#protip: Regardless of whether you want a job now, reading job descriptions will help you understand what skills and experiences are required for a job. It’s helpful to read the descriptions of future jobs you may want to make sure you are setting yourself up for success by making sure you are getting certain experiences today.

Here are are a few articles to get us started today: I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Slowing Down Your Career? 5 Opportunities To Take Advantage Of

One of the Operating Partner community members and long-time industry friend emailed me last week. They proposed a topic for a future OP: “what are some ideas for opportunities as we age and do not need to work 60-hour weeks but our Rolodex and skills are super valuable?

I thought this was a great topic and relevant and wanted to start the conversation flowing about this.

I’m not at this point in my career where I want to slow down and apply the breaks, and this makes me less knowledgable from a first-person perspective, but with that said, I work with plenty of folks who are.

Here are five ways to slow down but keep your feet in the industry:

You worked decades to build your network; it’s time to use it smartly. Chances are, you’ve specialized in a specific function or vertical. Find businesses in that function/vertical that can easily leverage your network or find companies who want to enter your industry and help with introductions. Think about this as business development or market development.

You’ve built your network and know who is good, great, and terrible. Hopefully, you’ve kept a list over the years or can quickly create one. You can easily help a company build up its capabilities by recruiting and interviewing talent - or help a talent company (recruiting firm) by being an advisor to a space/sector. Or, frankly, join a talent firm and build a book of business as a recruiter. Think about this as hiring and recruiting.

Not everything is about the network. In many cases, investment firms hire river guides or advisors to surround a CEO or company. This position is typically an advisory position and most likely may not be a board position. Essentially you give an hour or two a week to field questions from the company regarding strategy, corporate development, market entry, etc. You basically arm the investment firm with the right questions to task and levers to pull to drive value creation for the potential investment. Maybe you go on-site a few days a month - or maybe not.

Similar to the one above, this also may work at an investment fund. We often hire former senior execs or subject matter experts to help us get up to speed and innovative about a sector or company. This is far from full-time but could be intensive for a short burst or two.

Consulting companies like McKinsey, Bain & Co, and BCG, amongst many others, all hire Sr. Advisors too. While the role is a bit different at each consulting firm, it is used to bring subject matter expertise to a client or vertical. You may not have steady work but it’s a way to keep the ear and tail to the ground while leveraging what you have built over time.

Bonus: Some Venture Capital firms will hire "Executive In Residence" type roles where you try and help the portfolio via many of the ideas above. Usually you are a CEO or senior functional lead (CRO, CSO, CMO, CTO, etc) and you are taking time to think about what is next. The benefit of this type of role is that you will get exposure to lots of companies, quickly.

Hopefully, this is helpful. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them and share them back out with the OP next week…

Jobs From the OP Community

From time to time, I publish jobs across the OP community and within my portfolio in this newsletter. If you have a job/role that you want to promote, please send me a paragraph such as the ones below.  I do not charge for promoting jobs in the newsletter but they must be relevant to this community. I reserve all rights (s) to approve/publish jobs.

Growth Manager. Datonics. Datonics is looking for a Growth Manager with experience in scaling a B2B SaaS product from the early stage through high growth. Your role will include defining, coordinating, and executing strategies that support Datonics’ business objectives, including brand awareness, audience engagement, and B2B user acquisition for our suite of Shopify applications and SaaS data enrichment offerings.

Director, Analytics & Behavioral Insights. Zelis. We’re building a team that’s tackling the biggest challenges in healthcare payments. We are searching for a Director, Analytics and Behavioral Insights to support the growth of our company as we expand our teams. Responsible for leading and communicating the long-term strategic vision, roadmap, and evolution of Member Journey Analytics function and aligning the adoption roadmap across various Member Analytics teams.

Director, UI/UX Leader. Zelis. Develop and advocate an end-to-end human-centered design (HCD) process for the Member Empowerment team. Includes enforcement and governance of the HCD process by which the team drives “Consumer-first” product development. Influence and partner with related UX, UI and Human Centered Design teams across the enterprise. Develop, maintain, and execute on appropriate A/B testing and multivariate analysis in coordination with matrixed partners.

Articles To Read

Here are some articles that I have read this week. I am not compensated for sharing links - I only share when I find them interesting. I hope you do too. If you read an interesting article and want to share with the OP community, just email me the link and I'll see if relevant. If so, I'll post in the next OP.


AMD Powered Frontier Supercomputer Now Fastest In the World (Toms Hardware)

On Discord, Music Fans Become Artists Besties, Collaborators, and Even Unpaid Interns (Pitchfork)

They Did Their Own ‘Research.’ Now What? (NYT)

China Is Leading the Global Decline in Venture Capital Deals (Bloomberg)

Can Paramount Go It Alone? (NYT)

Silicon Valley Investors Give Startups Survival Advice for Downturn (WSJ)

7 Ways Web3 Could Empower Creatives and Upend Creative Agencies (AdAge)

How TikTok Capitalizes on the Twin Trends of Creators and Online Commerce (AdExchanger)

How Much Is Enough? (Continuations)

Ten Fastest Growing Apps in 2022 (Leon Zucchini)

20 Insights From 2000 Pitch Decks in 2 Months (Max Junestrand)

The Steve Jobs Bias That’s Killing SaaS Startups (Experience Stack)

$1M/Year One-Man Design Agency - a Breakdown (Vasil Nedelchev)

Building A Data Platform From Scratch At Collectors (Collectors / Sam Bail)

Games Fund One: Building the Future of Games (a16z)

Ad Club Industry Legend Rishad Tobaccowala On Why The Next 10 Years Will Be the Best (The Drum)

Americans Start Summer Travel Season Beset by Record Gas Prices (WSJ)

Sheryl Sandberg Is Leaving Facebook at a Perilous Moment (Bloomberg)

Thank You for Reading

Thanks for reading OP #215. I hope you enjoyed this OP and Go Celtics!

Durhamism # 1140: "Go the extra mile. It's never crowded."

Darren / @dherman76
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