Today @upfrontvc officially opened its Santa Monica offices after 14 months. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to begin to collaborate in person with colleagues, portfolio companies, startup entrepreneurs - in person.
2/ I will outline what @upfrontvc is doing in our office re-opening, not to say "we have all the answers" but just to put out thoughts for others planning or considering. Here goes ...
3/ In order to work in our offices require employees to be fully vaxxxxed. No vax, work from home for now. We will not be wearing masks indoors with our vaxxed colleagues. We have a small enough company to pull this off.
4/ NOBODY is required to work from our offices. Anybody - and for any reason - can still work from home. We want people in the office to feel safe and we want those who don't yet feel safe to feel comfortable productively working from home.
5/ Outside guests & meetings are allowed at @upfrontvc but they need to be outdoors. The only way for us to feel safe with colleagues indoors is to have control over who is in our space. We're blessed with LA weather so this is no hardship. To use bathrooms guests need masks
6/ We have an outdoor office facility so we are allowing portfolio companies to hold board meetings here provided they follow our health & safety guidelines. We're eager to get back to work and back to normal
7/ Employees coming into the offices need to pre-coordinate with our office manager at the start of the week. We still want to keep attendance at < 50% if we can for a few weeks and see how things progress. We need to find our new normal
8/ We've decided no "group indoor meetings" more than a few people so Partner Meetings will still be on Zoom - even if we're in the office. We're going to track infection levels, vaccine efficacy levels, etc. for a few weeks but we're pretty damn optimistic for Post Covid LA
9/ We've moved all food in office to single-serving packs to avoid crowding around food areas preparing meals / sharing utensils, touching each others foods. All indications are Covid spread through air not touching but no need for additional risk. Just modified what we serve
10/ At @upfrontvc we don't profess to have all the answers but we're ready to re-engage in person, we're vaxxed, we believe in science & statististics. We believe it's in the best interests of human health & well being to get back to work / school when infection rates merit this
11/ Finally, we know there are higher-risk groups who might choose to remain distant, we know that some cities may have flare-ups particularly when whether gets too hot or too cold but for LA we believe this is the right answer. So. Let's gooooo!!!!!

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More from @msuster

16 Apr
1/ I had "strategic" investors at my first startup. I learned first hand what a bad idea this can be, even when they're good people. A thread ...
2/ I use quotes for "strategic" because it's really an oxymoron. Most industry investors are the opposite of strategic. They have vested interests and sadly this plays out on their board and investor participation
3/ Many strategic / industry investors are bad for startups even though it's no fault of their own. They often have different incentives, different expectations and are playing a different game. Let's examine this ...
Read 10 tweets
20 Mar
1/ A thread on "founder types" & how to hire those who complement you

There are no "exact types" of founders but to simplify:
A framework I think most founders broadly fall into:
1. Product centric
2. Tech centric
3. Customer centric

It helps to figure out which you have / are
2/ Many tech companies are "product centric"
- They understand how customers use today's products & where the gaps exist in the market.
- Know how to get tech built by high quality engineers
- Often win through 10x better products
- But often don't truly understand the customer
3/ In order to understand the customer you need to know:
- how they work
- what their problems are
- how to satisfy their needs
- how they get approval to spend $
- why they adopt new solutions
- how they train themselves
- how they get buy in from teams
- what choices they have
Read 19 tweets
19 Mar
1/ Trevor Noah addresses racism against Asian Americans. It's so hard to find the right words to convey but his wisdom sums up my feelings better than even I could articulate. If you haven't seen this please dedicate just four minutes.

We must speak out & speak up
2/ I feel so much empathy for Asian Americans facing hostility and racism in America. We can't create a culture that tolerates this.

You can't stop crazy people, but we as a society can lash out against public figures who think it's acceptable to vilify Asians in any way
3/ We all know the last president & his allies used terminology like China Virus or Kung Flu as a dog whistle for tolerating racism & creating an environment where White Nationalists + sympathizers can blame "the other"

The inciters are always as dangerous as those who act out
Read 5 tweets
7 Jan
1/ I saw some of my colleagues argue that the press & some on Twitter overreacted to the events of yesterday. That's seriously misguided. The President of the United States wanted to illegally remain in power & certainly would have if Congress would have allowed him.
2/ There were enough GOP congresspeople immoral enough to go alone with the President's ruse. They knew he lost the election in a landslide but for political reasons said the opposite. This is seriously dangerous
3/ There is now a press establishment (OAN, others) willing to use presidential propaganda to amplify anything he says & social media bubbles that have persuaded tens of millions of people that black was white and up was down supported by carnival barkers like Giuliani
Read 15 tweets
24 Dec 20
1/ Just realized this morning that it was 5 years ago today that I invested in @densityio ... it has truly been such a great career experience for me. Some notes ...
2/ Density is a privacy-first way to monitor how people or objects move around spaces. Today mostly office spaces. Plus warehouses, schools, retail outlets, government buildings
3/ Density is a software company that gives insights to property owners or occupants. To deliver value it required team to also build hardware. That has been a journey. VCs are scared of HW. It’s challenging but gives SW companies such great defensive moats.
Read 19 tweets
13 Jun 20
1/ I have read many times over the years. It serves as a powerful reminder: Leaders who have the courage to use peaceful, symbolic protests to raise awareness of oppression are often discriminated against in their times but "history has its eyes on them"…
2/ This article is a great reminder of the courage & conviction of two African American athletes who raised awareness of oppression at their expense of their own continued fame, achievement and financial benefit
3/ The article is titled "The White Man in That Photo" because it also shows the courage and conviction of a White ally who believed in equality & God and felt it was worth showing public support despite paying a lifetime of economic consequences. It says he never regretted this
Read 9 tweets

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