Garry TanSan Francisco, California, United States
Bio
I'm a designer, engineer, and investor in early stage startups. Cofounder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, an early stage venture capital fund that was earliest in Coinbase and Instacart. We're a team of 6 investing partners with over $3.2B in assets under management and our startups have created more than $200 billion in market value in the past 9 years. We focus on pre-product-market-fit seed and seek to be the investor of record at that stage. Our sweet spot is a complete cofounding team and direction with a demo or initial product— we typically write checks of $2M to $5M and prefer to lead or be first to commit. Previously a partner at Y Combinator. Invested in and directly worked with over 600 companies in 5 years from the earliest possible stage, often just an idea. Before that, I cofounded Posterous and helped build it to a world-class website used by millions. (Acquired by Twitter) I also cofounded the engineering team for Palantir Technology's quant finance analysis platform, and designed the current Palantir logo and wordmark. I love building things. Specialties: user-centered design, project management, software engineering, interaction design, visual design, entrepreneurship, bootstrapping, branding, design, technical architecture, scaling
Social
Experience
Founder and Managing Partner
Initialized Capital
Jan 2012 - Current
Lead investor in early stage startups at seed. Was early (pre-seed, seed, Series A) investor in founders who have created more than $200B in market value in 9 years. We are a team of partners with deep expertise in product, engineering, marketing and design, with a fully institutional LP base and over $3.2B in assets under management. Investments include Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), Instacart, OpenDoor (NASDAQ: OPEN), Flexport, Cruise Automation (acq by GM), Plangrid (acq by Autodesk), Rippling, Truepill, Standard Cognition, Ro, Patreon, Bison Trails (acq by Coinbase), HelloSign (acq by Dropbox), EasyPost, Zeus, Triplebyte, LogDNA, Long Term Stock Exchange, Flock Safety, Shogun, Envoy, Blend Labs, Color Genomics, Soylent, Ridecell, Rainforest QA, Lever, Sift, Lob, Heap, Torch.io, Athelas, Freedom Robotics, Bodyport, Drip Capital, Resolve, Paperspace, HelloOffice, Orderful, Tundra, Empower Financial, Helm, Clipboard Health, PlateIQ, Berbix, Shelf Engine, Ping, Eclipse Foods, Stacker, Depict.ai, and many more. Hands-on help with product design, strategy, interaction design, visual design, and hiring.
Cofounder
Posthaven
Mar 2013 - Current
Easy, simple blogs for $5/mo forever. This is a replacement for Posterous.com, but now one that we intend to charge money for, and keep online for as long as possible. We needed a replacement, and other people do too.
Partner
Y Combinator
Dec 2010 - Nov 2015
Helped over 700 YC startups over the past 5 years (10 batches) build tomorrow's world-changing companies. Previously designer-in-residence. Wrote key software at YC, including the internal alumni social network and forum Bookface (used by 1 in 3 YC alums every day) and the Demo Day website with realtime video updates.
Cofounder
Posterous.com
Jan 2008 - Jan 2011
Dead simple posting of everything online using email. Attach documents, photos, music, video, and files of any kind and we'll transcode it to the most web friendly format and host it for you too. Autopost to facebook, twitter, flickr, and all your blogs. I ran full stack design and development: from product definition, interaction design, visual design to software engineering, scaling, database management, systems administration. I designed and shipped major parts of the app including text processing, post editor, customizable blog theme engine, embed expansion, realtime and digest email notifications and subscriptions, and bookmarklet. Varyingly over the years I had to wear all the other hats too -- tech architecture, scaling and optimization, customer support, spam and abuse eradication, branding, PR. It was a blast. Launched in July of 2008 and at peak was a Quantcast Top 200 site. We grew 10x in 2009 and 2.5x in 2010. Acquired by Twitter. Posterous has been hailed in the design community for its focus on no-setup no-signup first time experience, and has been featured in Designing Social Interfaces published by O'Reilly and The Smashing Book by Smashing Magazine. - What might be the simplest blogging platform to date." --Michael Arrington, Techcrunch - In terms of making things really dead simple Posterous beats every other service or app I have ever used. We can learn from them." -- Werner Vogels, CTO Amazon - The quickest and easiest setup I've ever seen." --Huffington Post
Lead Engineer, Designer
Palantir Technologies
Sep 2005 - Oct 2007
Cofounded v1 product/team for Palantir's financial analysis product. Joined as employee #10. Defined product vision and design features for 14 engineers working on a next-generation financial analysis platform, now actively deployed to top hedge funds and banks around the world in partnership with Thomson Reuters. Hacked the first few early iterations of the software from scratch. Designed the current Palantir mark and logo.
Program Manager
Microsoft
Jul 2003 - Sep 2005
Program management of ActiveSync 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 and Windows Vista releases of Windows Mobile synchronization and device management software.
Software Engineer Intern
Sun Microsystems
Jun 2002 - Jan 2003
Software Engineer Intern
TheMan.com
Jun 2000 - Sep 2000
Software Engineer Intern
Sapient
Jun 1998 - Jan 2000
Worked during high school and college, part time during school, full time during breaks. Web application development for clients such premiere brands as Caterpillar, PowerBar, Specialized Mountain Bikes, Esprit, and Virgin Megastore. Perl web application development, linux administration, and build system integration.
Education
Stanford University
BS, Computer Systems Engineering
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