Expanding Compound, Part II
We’re looking to expand our investment team at Compound by hiring a non-partner investor with at least 3 years of full-time work experience (some may equate this to a Principal role at other firms). Ideal candidates will also have prior investing (angel/venture) or early-stage operating experience.
This person will work moderately autonomously across all aspects of the investment process as well as broader firm operations and initiatives. This role must be based in either New York City (preferred) or San Francisco.
Bringing on a team member is something that we have been very intentionally slow to do at Compound. We hired our first investment team member in five years last year, and despite at times feeling bandwidth constrained, because of how seriously we take the commitment of working with people and impacting their careers, we have been disciplined about not adding another investment team member until we felt the time was right. This time is now.
Compound is not an easy place to work. We have made a bet on a very specific approach to investing (thesis-driven, research-centric, often in technical areas) that has enabled us to build a unique and differentiated venture capital firm. This approach demands a high level of multi-disciplinary skillsets, in addition to perhaps the more consensus skillsets of other non-partner investing roles at other firms. We view our portfolio as a collection of various futures that we, and the founders we partner with, believe in deeply. We at times have spent years thinking about those futures and looking for the right people to accelerate their inevitability. Putting in the work in order to more clearly see these futures cannot be under-appreciated and is something we take very seriously at Compound.
The good news is, we are starting to see this approach validated in our financial performance. Despite this, it has happened at a time where we believe the degree of difficulty of this job has never been higher, and our approach moving forward has perhaps never been more contested by others in the market.
We believe this role is incredibly exciting for the right person who has a desire to help build the next stages of our firm, and take on a lot of responsibility and autonomy versus comparable roles, with the resources of a (barely) established firm.
Working in venture can be the best job in the world. You get to go to work each day, spending countless hours talking to brilliant people, reading interesting research, and helping founders push a massive boulder up a hill.
It can also be really difficult.
In venture the feedback loops are long, the learning curve is steep, the skills needed and best practices are not at all consensus, and the industry is rapidly changing these days which makes firms and individuals re-assess what approach to investing is dominant.
In addition, the specific role of a non-partner investor can be difficult on different axes. On one end, some firms have incentive mechanisms that tilt in favor of pushing deals through (which most would agree is bad). We solve for this by giving every investment team member fund-wide carry.
On the other end, you have feedback loops that are long and unclear at best for sometimes a decade or more. Especially at a firm like ours where we will deep dive and tread water on a thesis for perhaps 2–4 years until we make an investment, that can be especially difficult to stomach if someone isn’t sure if they are able to (or even wants to) stick around to see the early fruits of their labor.
As we’ve thought about these dynamics, when we think about adding another person to our investment team, the core things we come back to are passion and perhaps obsession.
We want someone who is obsessed with the craft of venture investing and partnering with founders. This is probably best demonstrated by your understanding of the landscape of the industry, past things you’ve done in your career to help founders, and/or nuanced opinions you have surrounding investing in/building early stage startups.
We also want someone who has a deep passion for our core areas of focus (machine learning, robotics, healthcare & bio, and blockchain) as well as for our approach to investing. This is probably best demonstrated by an insatiable desire to read and pressure test your opinions on these topics with public writing, as well as perhaps by always having a view of your favorite startups and researchers/writers in the areas you care about.
Instead of a list of requirements and skills required for this role, we will say that the core job of an investor at Compound is to help us continue to build a world-class, thesis-driven venture firm. This means expanding our network, deepening our expertise, and proving our value to founders over and over again.
We don’t care about what school you did (or did not) go to, but instead care deeply about how you think about the world, the pace of iteration and synthesis of those thoughts, and how you like to spend your time.
And of course, low ego, high EQ are required.
If you’re interested in applying, please send an email to Mike (at) Compound (dot) vc with the exact subject line “Compound 2021 Investor Hire”. If you’d like to refer/vouch for someone, feel free to send their name to us, but also have them apply directly.
In the email, please provide materials including:
- Why do you want to join Compound specifically?
- What makes you a great fit for this role?
- How would your boss or coworkers describe you?
- Who do you admire?
- What’s a current investment thesis you are excited about within machine learning, robotics, biology, or blockchain that you think we should explore.
- What is a pre-series B company you’d like to invest in/have invested in, and why?
- Any other writing/links that allow us to understand you better