I joined Netflix in 2007, just when we were launching streaming. We were a $1 billion market cap company, only available in the US and our members were all on DVD. When I left in 2013, we had skyrocketed to a much larger company with a $20 billion market cap. Our members were located all over the world and all were on streaming. Today, Netflix has over 100 million members around the world. Being a part of this transformation was exhilarating and I loved every minute of it, so much so that I wanted to do it again. This led me to join Coursera.
Four years ago, I joined Coursera as employee number 50. I’ve had the privilege of working on every aspect of the company, from the product, to the business model, to building the team and setting a culture. In four years we’ve been able to grow revenue nearly 50x, launch four fully accredited online degrees, roll out an enterprise sales channel, run thousands of AB tests, and build out a world-class product organization. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and confident in the team’s ability to continue to deliver outstanding results.
Knowing that Coursera is in good hands and on a positive trajectory has allowed me to step-back and consider what’s next for me. When I think about what really motivates me, I’ve realized that it is being in “startup mode”. That’s what I loved at both Netflix and Coursera, and that’s what I want to do exclusively. So I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve decided to join Venrock as a partner, focusing on early stage investments. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned scaling Netflix and Coursera to help entrepreneurs change the world. This is a natural evolution for my career – build a delightful product at Netflix, build a sustainable company at Coursera and now help many entrepreneurs change the world with their vision at Venrock.
What attracted me to Venrock are the people and the vision. The partners at Venrock are people that I think I can learn from and they are open to learning from me. That kind of reciprocal relationship is what makes a great team. I am equally inspired by the team’s vision. I loved what I heard from all of the partners, which is that they know they are doing their job if their entrepreneurs call them first, regardless of whether things are going well or poorly.
I’m naturally very curious, so I’m interested in almost everything: consumer, marketplaces, video, entertainment, subscription businesses, education, workplace productivity, career placement… I’m particularly interested in companies that can build a profitable long-term business and drive positive impact in the world. I believe some of the most interesting companies change the world and in the process create a very profitable business.
I’m proud of the strong team and culture of innovation I built at Coursera and can’t wait to partner with amazing entrepreneurs to help them do the same. If you’re an amazing entrepreneur, please reach out. I’d love to brainstorm with you and see how I and team Venrock can help!