Describe your feelings related to doing something new and unique.
Intellectual Ventures’ uniqueness is most evident to me when I’m explaining the company to someone who is unfamiliar with us, such as a potential investor. My job often takes me away from my desk – and when I’m speaking with external parties, it can be challenging to explain everything we do because we do so much: we invest in invention, create our own inventions, and partner with inventors and companies in many different industries. How many companies are able to say that? I’m proud to be directly contributing to building an invention marketplace.
Comment on the latitude you’re given to be innovative.
We are creating a new marketplace and new business models, and this pushes us to be innovative. IV is the type of place where innovativeness is not only encouraged, but expected. This is a place where good ideas are valued at all levels of the company.
Describe the opportunity to grow through interactions with other IV colleagues.
The great thing about IV is that the company brings together people who have unique specializations in a wide variety of fields. Especially coming from a finance background, I really enjoy interacting with people who have more of a science and technical background than I do. As a part of my job, I get to visit the IV Lab about once a month, and I never get tired of learning about their research, products and prototyping activities. IV is one of those places where you really can learn something new every day.
How do you stay focused when the fund’s investments are so long term?
While the fund’s investments may be long term, there are many business cycles that take place over the life of the fund. The business continues to evolve and we are constantly looking to diversify and increase our revenues. From IV’s standpoint, there is always work to be done while in process of meeting a larger goal, so it keeps me on my toes.
Which value do you need to embrace most in your job, and why?
I think pioneering spirit is the most relevant value to our work. Everything we are doing is new. This means that our work is new for the market, for the engineers, and for the investors with whom I’m communicating. And whenever you’re working on something new, you’re exploring an unknown frontier. Our work requires the pioneering spirit in order to use or introduce new technology, spinout or start-up companies, and new business and investment partnerships. It is really fun.