Currently, I am the founder and CEO of Purplemana, a collectible trading card marketplace on a $Xm+ GMV run-rate We are profitable and backed by some of the top collectible investors like Slow Ventures and Operator Partners.
I have a large social media footprint across Discord (Venture, and Collectible Cards), Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, and YouTube. I get millions of earned organic impressions and thousands of hours of organic watch time per year.
From 2014 to 2018, I deployed a small angel fund called Brighton Angels Partners. We made 14 investments where two became unicorns (Carta and Sisense via M&A), 2 were acquired at 2x, and the rest are either still growing or dead. Our portfolio of companies have gone to raise billions from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Silverlake and is worth in aggregate of ten billion dollars in market cap.
Since 2018, I have been a Venture Partner at Bling Capital, one of the world's top performing seed funds. Over my investing career, I have had the honor of partnering with over 40 CEOs during the earliest days of their journeys. I am mentored and calibrated by our Managing Director Ben Ling, who was also my boss at Facebook almost fifteen years ago. I have co-invested with funds like Bling, Founders Fund, and Slow.
Earlier in my career, I founded a gaming platform company called Artillery. While we were ultimately unsuccessful in building a billion dollar gaming platform (turns out it is insanely hard and insanely expensive), I raised over $11m from VCs like First Round and Lowercase Capital, led an all stock merger of a Twitch community, and I led a cross-border minority secondary sale to Tencent, the world's largest gaming company / China's largest Internet company.
From 2007 to 2011, I worked at Facebook where I joined as the 300th employee sitting 3 desks from Mark Zuckerberg. I led mobile partnerships with companies like Apple and RIM and helped preload Facebook on over 100m devices. I worked closely with Mark and Sheryl on numerous projects and have a uniquely Silicon Valley battle scar: Steve Jobs (RIP) personally emailed Mark Zuckerberg to try to get me fired because Steve didn't like how fast we were shipping Facebook for iPad.
Before that, I worked at Google as a Sales Engineer on the Google Toolbar team. Our team was led by Sundar Pichai, now CEO, where we distributed over 900m toolbars and won Google's second highest honor, the EMG Award. Google Toolbar would later evolve into Google Chrome, now the world's most used web browser.
I have a track record of spotting key technology trends and punching above my weight to get on cap tables.
My unique value add for founders:
- Being a key early employee on many of the world's must used products
- Having built a successful marketplace with millions in revenue
- Being highly technical and still build product every day
- Having raised tens of millions of dollars of top VC money
- Having led and negotiated deals with 4 of the world's largest tech companies
- Having led and negotiated multi million dollar M&A buy side and sell side
- Having built numerous successful online communities and moderated Reddit subs with 100k+ members
- Having built an online video presence on LinkedIn and YouTube watched for over 1000+ hours / year.
- Having a successful real estate business in partnership with Form and Field with properties featured on national television and in publications.
- Having built and exited an importing company in my free time while working at Google and Facebook.
I also have some uniquely random hobbies and history:
- I am a fanatic about fried chicken. I've traveled across the country for the best recipes and I've fried over 50 birds across 100+ iterations. My Nashville is the bomb – dare I say even tastier than Howlin' Rays (their fry is better iterated though).
- The most expensive trading card I have ever sold was $247,000.
- I am an oil painter and Divide by Zero brand imagery / art was inspired by Kandinsky and created in collaboration with the talented John Hersey
- I'm a "legit checker" of Men's Prada and own (probably) the world's largest collection of counterfeit Prada. I am fascinated by counterfeit culture and penetrated its highest echelons by becoming a moderator of /r/designerreps.
- I spent years mastering almost all of David Blaine's card tricks
- In the early 2000s, I was the siteop of the world's largest MP3 server. You can read about Rabid Neurosis and the outcome. I have long reformed from piracy and happy to be a Spotify customer for over a decade. My co-siteop, Al_Capone, is mentioned in this book about some of our story.