We Saved a Seat For You

Posted on March 17, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I have a strong instinct that the next person we bring onto the investment team here at Pace will spend the vast majority of their time in web3. The Associate or Principal role at Pace is explicitly a tour of duty…there’s no hard timeline, but it’s about 2 years. One of my primary commitments that I make to anyone who takes the seat is that I’ll measure my success as a manager and our firm’s success as a platform for them by whether or not their next step is a wildly exciting, offensive move in the direction of their career goals . In Tina’s case, that was becoming a Web 3 founder. For somebody else, it might be ascending into a partner role at another firm, but for better or for worse, we have chosen to make the gig finite. Given that our time together is limited, it’s increasingly clear to me that 2 years is not enough time for someone to both come up the curve on web3 and have a material impact on our firm before our time together is up. As such, I’ve resolved that the right next person, out of their own curiosity and effort, will have already acquired the fundamentals to think from first principles in crypto from day 1.

I’m not looking for “experts,” but we should be able to look at a project/company/application together, spend an afternoon reading or tinkering, and get to both a mechanical understanding of how it works as well as a system level understanding of how it fits in to the broader ecosystem today and going forward. If I said to you, “I’m most interested in permissionless communication/messaging between DAPPs and wallets or wallets and wallets”, I need you to understand why that’s important immediately, and then we can start tackling the question of what a winning implementation might look like. The work I do is very exploratory…I’m looking for someone with whom to explore. Flipping digital collectibles or degenerately chasing yield in the Defi ecosystem or actively trading in any way is not a foundation that will enable you to do great work with me. Isolating foundational primitives and mechanics and dreaming of how they can and will be combined and applied to the world is my preferred way of working and I’d like to think through that lens with you. The foundation I’m looking for is a clear understanding of the constraints and capabilities that define the web3 ecosystem, as well as some informed intuition of how and where value accrues within the efforts we explore. Pace is not where we put capital behind crypto hype…there are plenty of firms where you can go and do that in Web3, but if that’s what you are after this will be a terrible home for you. We make concentrated, intentional investments into a handful of things every year and partner deeply with founders in a way that, dare I say it, may strike you as traditional.

So why would someone early in their career, with a web3 background and understanding, want to come work here, at a generalist firm, instead of at a “crypto native” fund? Sector specificity has it’s advantages, but you come here to develop your fundamentals as a thinker and investor…it happens that we will do that together largely though the context of the web3 ecosystem, but if your primary takeaway from this experience is deeper domain expertise, than Chris and I have failed you. We’re a small team by design. There are two of us managing $400M on behalf of world class institutions, and we’ve got an open 2-year seat. Oh, and if you are here and you become interested in something other than web3…as long as you can get us interested…that’s great too. It’s a big world out there…and there’s deep change in the air.

Reach out here: jordan@pacecapital.com

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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)

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