I could not be more excited to embark on a new year and new chapter after 7 1/2 years at Facebook. I am older (ugh), wiser and confident in my ability to both make mistakes and do great things. (These are mutually inclusive in my book.)
As I reflect on my time at Facebook, there are so many notable experiences and learning moments. When I joined in 2010, we were just shy of 700 thousand people on the platform and just south of one thousand employees in the company. We hadn’t yet launched Timeline, “The Social Network” was a couple of months from release, Instagram was a couple years from acquisition. We had an advertising business to build and the pressure for monetization was mounting. Most of us didn’t know what we were doing and had surely never done anything like it before. But we were smart, collaborative and had big challenges to tackle—including building a scalable advertising product, a scalable global sales team and an infrastructure and operations team that could support it all.
During my tenure at Facebook, I held several leadership roles. The thread that ran through all of them was that I was drawn to things that I hadn’t done before. I loved the constant learning and challenge and change. The steps and sometimes mis-steps that came with this frenetic environment gave me incredible learning moments that allowed me to grow tremendously as a person and leader. And now I’m excited to make yet another big change, jump outside those walls and find a way to help others grow and scale, with the experiences and learnings that I’ve been so fortunate to have.
As I think about my next chapter, there are ways of working that I learned at Facebook and Instagram that I will take with me:
1. Clear prioritization of “the what” we’re trying to accomplish—with the flexibility, delegation and trust to figure out “the how” to get there.
2. Freedom to make bold decisions as well as mistakes, with high expectations to be transparent and to move quickly to course correct when needed.
3. Focus and investment in people. There was relentless focus on hiring the right people and managing and coaching them to success. And my greatest satisfaction came from helping others to succeed.
And here is how these lessons and experiences translate into what I want for my next chapter:
1. The opportunity to help others tap into their unique strengths and accelerate innovation and big ideas wherever possible.
2. An environment where I have the freedom to make bold decisions, take risks, admit when I’m wrong and build on both successes and failures.
3. The time and resources to invest in people—namely those that are underrepresented in start-ups and business. Only 17% of start-up founders are women and this number hasn’t grown in five years. We can move the numbers for women and underrepresented people by giving them access to strong coaching, capital and resources.
As an immediate next step, I’m creating the space to think, make connections and build the foundation for achieving my purpose. Which leads me to Foundation Capital.
I’ve learned throughout the years that it’s all about the people. When Meg Sloan and Paul Holland invited me to become an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Foundation, I knew this was the right next step and the right group of people: Open. Supportive. Transparent. Collaborative. Optimistic. Focused on their relationships with entrepreneurs and how they can deliver value. It’s a team that’s supportive and excited about how I can contribute to the portfolio, as well as giving me the runway to make big, bold decisions about my career next steps. Sounds familiar.
I can’t wait to get started.