John joined Lightspeed in 2006, “inspired to work with entrepreneurs to build the next generation of enduring enterprise companies.”
His passion for the underdog started early on. As a student-athlete at Harvard, John was the only varsity soccer player from Georgia, spending his summers working at the Port of Long Beach coordinating cargo trucks. His drive to learn pushed him to graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he earned a degree in computer science while helping with technical diligence and sourcing at a venture capital firm.
“Someone told me it was a career where I could help people accomplish world-changing things, but it was a really difficult job to get,” he says of venture capital. “And that’s what inspires me—working on big ideas and the challenge of doing something that I know will be hard.”
After moving to the West Coast, John spent time rounding out his experience by working in product management at startups in the valley before completing his MBA at Stanford.
“As a life philosophy, I believe that you learn by doing,” he says. “For me, whether it was sports, school, or in my personal and professional life, that’s been the truth. I gravitate to people who have an immense drive to overcome and the humility to keep learning.”
John transitioned to a Venture Partner role in 2018. He continues to work with his Lightspeed portfolio companies while focusing on new investments in seed stage opportunities created by what he calls “product people”—the scrappy founders who seek out daunting challenges and are unafraid to fail.
“I have a deep desire to assist people on their journey and to participate in building iconic companies with great cultures,” he says. “I want to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and become people of substance and impact. That’s what gets me going every day.”