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« Where's the seed? | Main | How to Choose Your First VC »

Why I applied to the Union Square Ventures analyst position

They say you can't go home again.  I think "they" are wrong.

After much thought and consideration, I've decided that the best move for my career right now is a second stint as an analyst at Union Square Ventures.  By the end of the day, I will have formally completed their analyst application.

Why now?  Why go back to a job I first took nine years ago when things are going so well for me and I'm running my own fund, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.  

Well, that's part of it.  Things *are* going *incredibly* well.  After raising sizable follow-on rounds, both Canary and Floored have built, pound for pound, two of the best technical teams in NYC--especially around some really advanced computer vision work.  Tinybop's Human Body and Makr's initial iPad version were recognized as some of the most well designed iOS apps of the past year--and both have incredible new products coming down the pipeline.  SocialSignIn, just announced as one of the Techstars NYC companies in this cohort, is growing revenues and has their in-venue marketing solution operating across multi-unit chains, theaters and lots of other places where venue owners want a better relationship with their on location customers.  Ringly, the most design savvy wearables company focused on fashionable women, recently graduated from the Highway1 Accelerator and I'm thrilled to see how beautiful their soon to be launched first product is.  Versa has become the premier content marketing solution for real time responses to breaking news and trending headlines.  Orchard is helping more and more institutions everyday build and gain insight into portfolios of peer to peer loans with cutting edge tools.     

Given all that, I feel like I might as well quit while I'm ahead.  Why bother making any new investments at that point?  

I mean, sure, there are probably other interesting early stage investments to be made in NYC, across lots of different industries--and yes, I definitely could have raised another fund in the second half of 2015 be selectively adding a one or two more institutions and family offices, but there's always been this one nagging loose end in my career that I feel the need to address.

You see, the USV analyst position has always been subject to much competition.  Hundreds of applicants apply every time a slot opens up and those who take the position can say that they were the first choice out of a very dynamic crowd of people.

Except me.

I applied for the job before there was even an opening--even before Union Square Ventures was really on the map.  It was pre-Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Indeed, etc.  

They weren't even considering anyone else...  so I beat out exactly zero people for the job.  I'd like to go back and win the job fair and square--to be able to hang my head high and say that I finished first out of a crowd of highly qualified applicants.  It feels lame to say, "Well, since I was the only one who asked about it and they kinda knew me a little, they took a flyer."

I'm very confident about my chances, especially since I'm undoubtedly the applicant with the most experience actually being an analyst at Union Square Ventures.  I mean, who's more qualified than me?  Plus, I already know lots of things about being at USV.  We share the same fund administrator doing backoffice financial support, and I know Brad's actual first name.  How much could have possibly changed in the last nine years?

Plus, it's a pretty cushy gig these days.  I mean, current analysts get a real desk.  Back in my day, our office was so small, I had to sit in the reception area and I had trouble convincing people I was a real analyst.  Oh, the deals I could find if I was working there with a real desk.  

Plus, the NYC ecosystem is so much more vibrant.  Back then, it was a big deal if you had ten people who could write code at your company.  The NY Tech Meetup was held in the back conference room of Meetup and 25 was a good turnout.  

I can't wait to have the pressure of being decisive lifted from me.  These days, I usually tell companies whether I'm in or out in the first or second meeting--and I won't even take a meeting if I know it's not a deal I can get excited about.  Being in a one-vote fund where you don't need to huddle up in a partners meeting to do a deal--totally overrated.  

Simpler times await, and I couldn't be more excited.  

And if you believe all this, I've got a bridge to sell ya.  Happy 4/1!

Seriously, though... it was a great job and you should totally apply for it.  Thanks to Brad, Fred and Kerry for providing me with a great experience oh so long ago.

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