It’s official. As per the announcement on the Wealthfront Blog today, I have officially accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer at Wealthfront. I feel incredibly fortunate to be joining such an amazing team, with an opportunity to help build an extremely important company.
From Human Capital to Financial Capital
One way to imagine your professional life is overlay of two types of capital: the building and growing of your human capital, and the transformation of that human capital into financial capital.
It feels like just yesterday that I was writing a blog post here about my first day at LinkedIn. At its heart, LinkedIn is building, growing & leveraging human capital throughout your career. Wealthfront provides an answer to the second part of that equation – how to grow and leverage the financial capital that you accumulate throughout your career.
As Marc Andreessen put it, software is eating the world, and it is providing us a platform to bring the features and sophistication previously only available to the ultra-rich, and making it available to anyone who wants to protect & grow their savings.
Too many good, hard-working individuals today lack access to many of the basic advantages accorded to people with extremely high net worth. With software, Wealthfront can bring features and capabilities normally available only to those with multi-million dollar accounts to everyone, and at a fraction of the cost.
Personal Finance as a Passion
For regular readers of this blog, the fact that personal finance has been a long standing passion of mine comes as no surprise. What many don’t know is that this passion dates all the way to back to my time at Stanford, where despite one of the best formal educations in the world, there was really no fundamental instruction on personal finance.
In fact, upon graduation, I joined with about a dozen friends from Stanford (mostly from engineering backgrounds) to form an investment club to help learn about equity markets and investing together. (In retrospect, the members of that club have been incredibly successful, including technology leaders like Mike Schroepfer, Amy Chang, Mike Hanson and Scott Kleper among others.)
A Theme of Empowerment
As I look across the products and services that I’ve dedicated my professional life to building, I’m starting to realize how important empowerment is to me. At eBay, I drew continued inspiration from the fact that millions of people worldwide were earning income or even a living selling on eBay. At LinkedIn, it was the idea of empowering millions of professionals with the ability to build their professional reputations & relationships.
With Wealthfront, I find myself genuinely excited about the prospect of helping millions of people protect and grow the product of their life’s work.
We’ve learned a lot in the past thirty years about what drives both good and bad behaviors around investing, and we’ve also learned a lot about how to design software that engages and even delights its customers. The time is right to build a service that marries the two and helps people with one of the most important (and challenging) areas of their adult lives.
A Special Thank You
I want to take a moment here to voice my utmost thanks to the team at Greylock Partners. My year at the firm has given me the opportunity to learn deeply from some of the best entrepreneurs, technology leaders and venture capitalists in the world. The quality of the entrepreneurs and investors at Greylock forces you to think bigger about what is possible. Fortunately, Greylock is also a partnership of operators, so they understand the never-ending itch to go build great products and great companies.
… And Lastly, A Couple of Requests
Since this is a personal blog, I don’t mind making a couple of simple requests. First, if you have a long term investment account, whether taxable or for retirement, I would encourage you to take a look at Wealthfront. I’d appreciate hearing what you think about the service and how we can make it better.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, we are hiring. So let me know if you are interested in joining the team.