One of my takeaways from my founder journey was the wide impact founders have through entrepreneurship. We had a direct impact on our customers and team members, of course. But as time went on, I began to understand our indirect impact, too. For example, the impact we had on households resonated with me. The people we employed were the main breadwinners in their households, so three or four people felt the impact of every paycheck issued. And we often heard from a customer that their vehicle (which we helped keep on the road) was critical; it was their only way to get to and from work and provide for their families. All those households, in turn, had myriad impacts on the communities they were part of. I didn’t think about impact when I started the company, but through experience I learned a lot about it—at a high level, how entrepreneurship is powerful and has the potential for massive impact.
That understanding was a big factor in my decision to become an investor. I could have taken what I’d learned from my first company and started a second. I probably could have built something many times larger than my first company in far less time. But I realized I could have a bigger impact sharing my knowledge with other founders and helping accelerate their success. The impact of many successful founders dwarfs that of one. So, I’ve been focused on supporting founders by sharing knowledge and capital.
By investing, I’ve seen entrepreneurship and the impact it can have through a different lens. I’ve started viewing entrepreneurship as something that’s layered. The company and founder are one layer—the most visible one. But other layers support them. I’m now wondering: can impact through entrepreneurship be enhanced by supporting the layers that support founders?