I am a Detroit-born mom of two who believes in leaving a place better than you found it.
I invest in tech companies and serve on a number of public and private company boards.
An interesting fact about me is that I was a majorette in high school.
What's one lesson you learned in your career that's stuck with you?
The biggest one is that relationships matter. For example, I have mentees myself, and it's not about the formal exchange we have; it's all about the informal exchange. It's not about today or tomorrow, but what will transpire over time.
How should companies be approaching growth and scale in today's bear market?
Gone are the days of growth at all costs—or any cost, for that matter. We're at a time where great industries will be created and great companies will be built within them. We have to remember that Google was founded in 2000, and the gig economy happened in 2008.
Measured growth is important, alongside profitability and focus. Don't do all the things; dig deeper and think about the market, profit, and measure growth.
What advice would you give someone starting an ops-heavy company today?
There are two things. First, the team matters a ton (your operational team is just as important as eng, product, marketing, etc). While at TaskRabbit, the first person I hired was the VP of Ops. I knew that making sure taskers and clients had a happy meeting and successful outcome was the most important thing we could do.
The second is to watch out for fringe costs. You have to ask yourself—what's the cost of doing business? Are there extra costs for delivering a service, turning over people, retention, shipping, etc.? These fringe costs can kill the business, so don't underestimate their importance.
As the former CEO of TaskRabbit and a minority woman in tech, what's one actionable thing companies can do to pave the path for more diversity and inclusion within their team structures?
The most important thing is to not stop focusing on D&I. Do the things that you said you were going to do—even if it's a little bit less—due to budget. By stopping your company's focus on D&I, it will mess up your retention strategy in the long run.
Additionally, measure what you accomplish. The impact of what you do is important. For example, we measure our board's diversity and make a call if we need more women, African Americans, etc. We will be unapologetic about that choice. When you put it out there, it's clear, and people can rally around it.
What do you look for in founders you invest in?
This is a time when it comes down to who the people are and the team. The passion— real passion—about what they're doing. We're in a desert ,and there's not a lot of water...you got to do the work, and the passion will fuel it.
I also like to invest in diverse founders, as I've found that they have unique perseverance and grit. I want to know about the story behind it, as it translates into how they build, grow, and scale a company.
Bonus: Who is one person who has inspired you in some way?
My grandmother. She turned 94 in October and is the rock in our family. She is the foundation of a lot of who I am as a person— my strength, vulnerability, and my willingness to get through it all is because of her.