Blazing a New Trail (and Not Hanging up His Cowboy Spurs) — Ode to Our Pardner Ted Wang 🤠
In his recent post, my longtime friend and Cowboy pardner Ted Wang shared that he’s blazing a new trail as a business coach. I’m thrilled for the founders who will work with him in this new capacity — he is exceptional. I can personally attest to this because, in addition to being my Cowboy Partner for the past 5 years, Ted was my legal counsel and effective business coach when I was a venture-backed CEO many moons ago.
Ted will continue as a Cowboy Partner, and as an incredible board member to our portfolio companies, as well as a coach to our internal team as a lifelong Cow-lleague. Life changes and work is changing. We’re excited for Cowboy to be a place where we enable folks to do their life’s best work while supporting personal obligations, and while making important contributions to the communities around us.
Some notes of reflection 👇
Ted and I became friends almost 20 years ago — a time when most guys in our industry only hung out and traded work notes with other guys. When we met, bro culture and the “Boys Club” in business were prevalent yet not something people acknowledged existed, let alone admitted had any negative ramifications. It was just something women and outsiders accepted and tried to navigate. Ted was one of the rare men who was cool and inclusive enough to have a professional network that included women.
In the years that followed, our families grew close and we’d often trade notes on work and tech trends. In 2006, I remember debating the virtues of a tiny startup with Ted called Twitter. Very few were using it, and people joked that most tweets went something like, “I had a good tuna sandwich for lunch.” As much admiration as I had for the Twitter founders, I worried short messaging and the follower model were features that would be copied by Facebook and others. Ted, as outside counsel and an advisor to the founders, believed they would build a compelling standalone company. He was right and I was wrong — it’s just one example where my aperture grew from our interactions.
At Cowboy, I’m proud of what Ted and I have built together. We’ve collectively backed big ideas and incredible teams at companies including Drata, SVT Robotics, Contra, Passbase, Mobile.dev, and Uno Health among others. We also added a brilliant next generation of 🤠 investors such as Amanda Robson (“Robby”) and Jillian Williams, who have been key parts of setting Cowboy up to be a multigenerational firm for the best seed-stage founders of the present and future.
Ted’s gifts of straight talk, incredible anecdotes that make everyone laugh, the ability to see around corners, and always having the backs of people he cares about — are important, indelible parts of Team Cowboy culture that he’s forever left us with.
So — here’s to our “strong cup of coffee”, AKA forever Cowboy Ted. And for those wondering, Ted will continue to be Cowboy Ventures’ in-house DJ (“DJ DFT”) and you can follow along his music journey on Twitter & Instagram 🤠