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tim.jobChange(‘{“from”​:”Splunk CTO”​, “to”​:”Menlo VC”​}’​);

May 17, 2021

It’s with great excitement I announce that I’ve started my journey with Menlo Ventures as a partner focused on early-stage investing in the infrastructure and deep tech sectors. Menlo is one of Silicon Valley’s most respected VC firms and the investments it’s making today will shape how we live and work tomorrow. The firm counts Uber, Benchling, Carta, Chime, Siri, Roku, and Poshmark among its most successful investments. 

Mining crypto in the basement

Those who know me know that growth and innovation have always inspired me. At Splunk, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems, I partnered with great people who pushed the technical and creative envelope. I played a leading role in close to a dozen acquisitions for Splunk and also had plenty of exposure to its venture capital arm. The experience should serve me well as it’s given me invaluable experience working with founders. Through these experiences, I learned that great technical entrepreneurs and big over the horizon ideas are essential to start-up success. 

As a former developer, operator, architect, and leader of thousands of engineers and projects across both Splunk and Yahoo!, I’m hoping that my technical background will resonate with early-stage founders that want an investor who deeply understands their industry. Being more of a technologist will give me an edge in terms of identifying emerging tech and market trends but also help founders scale during the growth phases of their companies. I’ve seen what extreme scale and business transformation look like, and that experience is vital. 

Furthermore, the background of multiple decades of operating experience will be a key differentiator in VC land and a trait that I hope founders will gravitate towards. Whether it’s go-to-market advice or helping founders hire and grow their management teams, I’ve worn many hats and I’m looking forward to working with our next set of great founders.

So, you’re probably wondering: How will I spend my days at Menlo? Last year, Menlo announced Menlo XV, a flagship $500M venture fund to help early-stage founders. As an investor, I’ll work with committed founders to identify problems, see them as opportunities, and respond by building solutions. I’ll help Menlo double down on the future of the cloud, where things continue to accelerate at a blinding pace. Digital transformation has increased the demand for better infrastructure. I’m particularly interested in founders focused on next-gen cloud infrastructure. Developers are the driving force behind this transformation and I’ve got my eye on companies building better dev tools, AI/ML platforms, and the new data stack. I’ll also be advising on early-growth investments considered by Menlo’s Inflection Fund. If you are building a company and looking for a thoughtful partner to catapult you to the next stage, I encourage you to reach out.   

Another attribute I’ll be looking for is EQ otherwise known as emotional intelligence. EQ is the ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them. It is grossly undervalued and not well understood. A good leader can comprehend, control and develop their own feelings while also being able to understand, grow and guide others constructively.  Leaders with strong EQs are always talent magnets.  They’re able to attract, retain and motivate high-performers which leads to better outcomes for all. It’s a critical trait that I’ll be on the lookout for in founders when deciding whether or not to invest in a company. 

I had a tremendous journey with Splunk but my next chapter with the team at Menlo is well underway. There’s a wealth of knowledge I’ll apply from my career as a developer/operator to investing and advising founders. I look forward to partnering with founders in as they look to get their ideas off the ground and grow into very large companies. You can keep tabs on my journey investing by connecting with me on LinkedIn or following me on Twitter at @timt and if you’re a founder of innovative cloud, AI/ML or DevOps solutions then I’d love to hear from you.