Welcoming Todd Jackson as a Founder in Residence at First Round
By Phin Barnes
Few people have track records like Todd Jackson’s. His career spans Google, Facebook, Twitter, founding a startup, and being part of the executive team at Dropbox — and we’ve got the feeling he’s just getting started.
We’re excited to announce that First Round will be playing a part in Todd’s next chapter. Starting this week, he’ll be joining us in a new role that we’re calling “Founder in Residence.” It’s a fitting title for what he’ll be doing: helping us find and build relationships with new founders, mentoring those we’ve already had the opportunity to fund, and exploring the products and industries that will inspire his next “pick.”
We first met Todd about 5 years ago when Upstart founder Dave Girouard (also part of the First Round community) reached out, enthusiastically recommending one of the best product people he’d come across while running enterprise apps at Google. We were excited about Todd from the moment we met — and ended up leading the first round in his new company, Cover. When they were acquired by Twitter in 2014, Todd stepped in to lead the Content & Discovery team at a critical juncture. We weren’t surprised when Dropbox swooped in to put him in the VP Product seat in 2015, where he’s had remarkable impact on the company in its run up to IPO.
This career arc makes Todd a rare breed. He’s experienced enough to have helped build some of the most iconic products in tech, including Gmail. But he’s also worked at the scrappiest end of the spectrum, scaling high-performance teams from scratch. His resulting blend of product intuition and management prowess is remarkable, and he’s generously shared this wisdom on First Round Review — about both building impactful products and hiring exceptional PMs. He spoke about the latter at our last CEO Summit, which you can see here (just a quick glimpse into how thoughtful he is on these topics):
As our first Founder in Residence, Todd will focus on advising entrepreneurs and product leaders in our community as they build their own products and teams. Through our Experts in Residence Program, we’ve seen how helpful it can be to pair founders with seasoned operators to help them tackle the biggest challenges at the right time. In fact, Todd originally connected us with his wife, Arielle, who’s been our incredible Marketing Expert in Residence for nearly 4 years. As Todd and Arielle prepare for a move to Los Angeles in the fall, Todd will also help us shape the West Coast edition of our popular NYC Product Program, bringing new, promising product minds from LA, SF, and beyond into our community.
We’re looking forward to meeting the people he impacts in this new role, the product leaders he’s worked with during his storied career to date — and the many others who’d like to follow in his footsteps as a builder and founder.