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January 7, 2014
Cold Pizza and AWS: Adrian Cockcroft Joins Battery from Netflix

A big part of being a VC is recruiting.  I spend a lot of time looking for people to join companies I’ve invested in, and I also spend a lot of time looking for people to be on the founding teams of new companies that are yet to be founded. In all the time I’ve been at Battery, I spent next to no time recruiting for Battery.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce a change to that history as my good friend Adrian Cockcroft is joining us as a Technology Fellow.  I first met Adrian years ago at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View. Another friend and I went to have cold pizza and listen to him talk about how he moved Netflix’s streaming service to AWS. At the time I’d seen plenty of start-ups on AWS, but this was the first time I saw some put a massive workload on AWS.  It really opened my eyes to what the cloud was capable of.  I distinctly remember Adrian comparing Amazon to the semiconductor fabs of the 80s and making the appeal that in the future, everyone was just going to build on top of the cloud in lieu of building and managing their own infrastructure.

After his talk I reached out to Adrian and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him quite well over the years.  He continued to be a luminary in recognizing opportunities for new start-ups as well as advising existing start-ups (and VCs) on how to approach a wide array of problems.  If you’ve ever been to a Battery dinner in the Bay Area you’ve probably seen Adrian there — he was a mainstay for us because people always commented to me how much they enjoyed getting his perspective (as did I).  So, you can imagine my excitement when Adrian broached the subject of coming to join us at Battery!  The other Battery investment-team members, some of whom have gotten to know Adrian recently as well, were similarly excited and helped work to make his hiring happen.

Adrian’s role at Battery won’t be significantly different to how we’ve engaged him in the past — except now we get more of him. Adrian will continue to give talks and write blog posts.  He’ll get to spend a lot more time meeting with companies, advising companies, and helping us formulate investment theses. But he’ll be doing it for us full time, and also playing a role in actually sourcing deals and performing due diligence on potential investments. Unlike a traditional VC firm “entrepreneur in residence”, Adrian’s position as a Battery technology fellow is expected to be long term. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the Battery family.

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