Today Mode announces its Series A. It’s a big, well-deserved moment for the team. I am happy to join as a returning investor. They are building a great product that data analysts simply love.
A Team with Conviction
I first met the team when they were at Yammer—Derek and Benn building a well-regarded data analytics team and Josh in engineering. They were one of the teams really defining Silicon Valley style data science at the time. They knew they needed a platform that enables faster and more collaborative analytics.
After the Microsoft acquisition, they did something bold: They walked away from lucrative retention offers to build the product they’d been talking about. For me, this was an a huge testament to their level of commitment. Opportunity costs are real and the team had conviction in this.
That was then.
Two years later, I'm impressed to see how Mode has grown as a product and team. I’ve stayed lockstep with them. They take great care to bring in strong talents. Even more impressive is seeing the cohesion they have built as a team. Their intentional culture helps them punch above their weight.
My belief in the team has only grown. This is a big part of why I'm investing again—the team is strong, the people I like, and they like each other. They have grown and are ready to take on the next level of scaling (and looking for great people to join them). Onward to the next milestones!
Looking back is an opportunity to reflect on my investment strategies. A few of those lessons stand out:
People and team
I’m huge on talent. I’m looking for the smarts, skills, and drive to do something transformative. But it’s more than just individuals: Good team dynamics and a shared vision are essential.
Opportunity costs are a signal
Founders who turn down other great options are telling you something. They are signaling their conviction. They are taking a larger chance and giving up more because they have conviction.
Past companies and experiences matter
Founders who worked at strong companies are more likely to succeed. Strong companies not only develop pedigree in how they recruit, but they impart skills and industry knowledge that make a difference.