“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
― Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
After five and a half years at Google, I’ll be leaving at the end of this year. Before going, I want to take a moment to thank Google for the opportunities availed to me, and to look ahead.
Google is a very different kind of company, and I’ve been fortunate to build my own dreams with the incredible platform that it offers. If I listed all the things that I treasure about my time at Google, this would become a very long post, so here are my top three takeaways, in no particular order:
- Work on things that matter — From launching Google Shopping in Spain and other commerce products in various European markets, to building Campus London, Google’s first physical hub for startups which helped turbo charge an ecosystem, to being part of the team that set up GV in Europe and made GV’s investment in Kobalt Music Group (its first investment outside of the US), the impact and scale of the projects I was fortunate to work on at Google were my key motivator.
- Obsess about data — organizing the world’s information, managing through OKRs, measuring everything… this is probably my biggest learning. There are many numbers I’m proud of, including Campus London’s growth and the global expansion of the program over the last two years. Campus London now has over 50,000 members and over 1,000 mentorship sessions a year. I’m also thinking about the three patents I published while at Google, and the thousands of entrepreneurs I had a chance to interact with… numbers matter.
- People are your most important asset — this may sound like a cliche, but operationalizing this mantra is perhaps Google’s ‘secret sauce’. I have been so humbled in my time at Google to interact with so many bright, hardworking and positive people. From execs to volunteers, to my colleagues at Google for Entrepreneurs and partners at GV, good people are what makes Google tick.
What’s next? I decided it’s time to move on, to venture outside Google. My wife Robyn and I initially moved to London to do our Masters — and what was meant to be a two year newlywed adventure became eight years of starting a family and belonging to a wonderful group of friends. We now have two amazing kids, but living in London means being away from both of our families.
In Q1 we will be spending time closer to family and continuing the exciting conversations I have begun regarding our next adventure. I have worked with startups in many capacities; I will continue doing that. I will also keep growing my “labor of love“, Techbikers, which over the past four years brought the London startup community together, and started five schools and eight libraries to help thousands of children in developing countries get access to education by supporting Room to Read.
In Larry’s words, I am already feeling ‘uncomfortably excited’ about the next chapter and want to thank Google and GV for making these past 5.5 years such a meaningful time. As a hitchhiker in this galaxy would say, So Long Google and thanks for all the fish!