Hello from Max

To all of the Version One founders, friends, and followers: I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the team! Becoming a VC is a bit of a surprise for me, but I believe that it is a perfect fit for my current passions and abilities. Over the next two posts, I’d like to share a bit about my worldview and investment theses.  

In this post, I’ll begin by outlining some core personal values:

1) Curiosity 

I’ve always loved exploring in every sense. I’m most definitely addicted to reading, but have learned even more from direct experience. I genuinely enjoy deep diving on new topics and piecing things together from the ground up. Over the last couple of years, I’ve done this a few times: learning Spanish from zero while living in Mexico, starting to make and release music, and learning how to program while going down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. For me, the joy of discovery is an unmatchable high!

2) Autonomy

I believe that owning one’s time is one of the highest goods. I hope to one day see a world where everyone has the ability to choose to work on whatever he or she finds fascinating. This is not only good for the individual, but also for society, as it will allow more people to unearth knowledge building blocks that can be infinitely remixed to create new art, organizations, and modes of thinking. We all win when 7+ billion people can participate in what Albert Wenger calls the “knowledge loop”. One caveat: I accept that not everyone wants the burden that comes with pure self-direction and would prefer more traditional life or career paths. This is, of course, ok. What matters is that there is a choice and path for more people to pursue what interests them.

3) Creativity

This is a bit of an extension of the above point, but I believe that the world is a better place when people are able to create something (however they wish to do so). An open internet, open finance, and the computer itself can and should be tools to facilitate creativity. A bicycle for the mind if you will. In my personal experience, I’ve found that making something usually comes from a place of love instead of fear. I believe most suffering comes from too much of the latter. 

4) Compassion

From a young age, my parents helped instill in me the importance of seeking win-wins and to avoid seeking personal gain at the expense of others (i.e. zero sum games). I also believe that emotional thinking or intuition is ultimately the most powerful tool available to humanity. While reason certainly has its place (it’s the basis of technology!), reason without empathy is likely to cause more suffering than good. I try (and often fail) to remember that I would be exactly like someone else if I were born with his or her DNA, parents, and circumstances. I also try to remember that at some level, we’re all made of the same substrate.

I hope that sharing a few of my personal values sheds some light on my worldview. Next week, I’ll outline some of the technologies and investment themes that most excite me.

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