Humility, in all situations.
I spent 8 years working for Sir Richard Branson and during this time I developed a clear understanding of how a single brand and visionary was able to scale 8 companies in disparate industries and geographies to a billion dollars or more of enterprise value. Specifically, Virgin’s approach at entering markets is driven by its focus on creating a sustainable value proposition to the consumer anchored in rapid product development, creative marketing strategies, and the power of brand.
I realized that these frameworks apply to the world outside of Virgin and the lessons I learned investing in Virgin Galactic, Virgin Pulse and Virgin Hotels served me well when we invested in Ring, Slack, and Capsule. I have brought these same lessons with me to M13, and it is exciting to find entrepreneurs who are attacking markets with the same perspective.
When meeting founders I am most focused on understanding their motivation. Did it come from a personal pain point? What triggered this particular path? What led them to this moment? Motivations are crucial as the odds are stacked against them yet these founders move forward with such singular focus to build something that endures.
I’ve been lucky to have some great moments in my career including witnessing Virgin Galactic reach space for the first time in the Mojave Desert and then enabling the public to participate in its growth through its SPAC merger. As a Series B investor in Ring, I worked closely with founder Jamie Siminoff and a great board of directors on its journey to a $1B exit to Amazon 3 years later.
We know this is a long game and being good partners to our founders is essential to our success. Reputation is all we have and it compounds over time. We look forward to earning ours.