I make a small number of investments per year in startups at the pre-seed or seed stage. Primarily, I invest in founders that can directly benefit from my help. I like to be one of the first checks in, betting on diverse teams that are tapping into real problems in large markets.
Areas that interest me:
1. Developer Platforms That Lower The Barrier to Entry
When I started Parse, we made backends easier by abstracting them away. The future is in abstracting the complexities of app building, making it easier to build software businesses.
2. New Media
We walk around with supercomputers in our pockets, and yet, the media we digest is mostly the same as it was in the 90s: linear text, audio, and video. New platforms that seize on the next iteration of these forms will be very valuable.
3. Tools That Accelerate Information Work
Tools are the lifeblood of successful organizations, especially the ones that we use on a daily basis. Quality tools compound progress.
Boatris — Operational analytics for mobile apps
Herald — Collect and act on customer feedback
Highlighter — Changing how we read with online book clubs
Listle — Listen to the internet
TakeShape — Next generation backends for distributed content
Got a pitch? Ping me at jamesjacobyu -at- gmail.com