As a partner at Sequoia, asking questions is a big part of my job. But as a former product manager, I always had plenty of questions for my friends and colleagues even before I became a VC — and one of my favorites has long been, “What is most difficult in our world?”

When I posed that question during a conversation with Jennifer Anderson, who I’d worked with at VMware and bebop and who at the time was leading the data platform team at Uber, her immediate response was “data quality.” …

Open source and shift left are two trends that are making developers the true decision makers for adopting infrastructure software products.

Temporal founders Maxim Fateev and Samar Abbas presenting in Sequoia’s Fall ’20 Company Design Program.

I met the founders of Temporal, Maxim Fateev and Samar Abbas, a few months before I joined Sequoia. They had just left Uber, and had raised their seed funding. Because of my product marketing experience, some friends at Sequoia asked me to help the founders iterate on their messaging — particularly for non-technical audiences. Some of the initial taglines for Temporal were “fault oblivious code — it does not know failure” and “stateful workflow engine.” Over the past year, we have come a long way: not only in terms of how we are telling our story but, more importantly, in…

One of the luxuries of my job as a VC is the opportunity to meet exceptional people and to reconnect with old friends. I recently met with a friend who is an engineering leader at one of the high-flying tech companies in San Francisco, and I asked them one simple question: “What’s difficult in your world?” Without skipping a beat their answer was “Observability is a s*** show.” (“Observability” is a set of tools for tracking the health of software environments, and for troubleshooting when things go wrong.)

These words fell on eager ears; I have been tracking the observability…

“We are heads down building product” is a line I hear often, particularly from seed-stage companies. “We are not fundraising right now, can I reach out to you when we are ready?”

We get it — talking to investors is time-consuming, and it may feel like a distraction from your core mission. You would rather be heads-down building product. …

Bogomil Balkansky

Partner at @Sequoia investing in enterprise software. 20+ yrs product and marketing leadership @VMware, @GoogleCloud. Diver, cook, photographer.

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