Investing across the spectrum gives you a wider perspective
There’s a constant battle between innovators and industry incumbents attempting to capture market share. Being able to invest across the spectrum gives you a wider perspective. You can sit down with a young entrepreneur who’ll say: ‘Here is why this industry is prime for disruption, we’re going to take their lunch.’ And then you go and hear the current market leaders say: ‘We’ve got X, Y and Z initiatives, and this is how we’re going to lock down the market and win on a go-forward basis”. Advent is one of the few firms where you can do growth equity investing in early-stage companies as well as buyouts of large scale multi-billion-dollar companies. For me, that was a very powerful selling point.
Aim to solve problems for other people
A mentor gave me this one bit of advice: ‘Whatever job you’re in, aim to solve problems. If you solve somebody else’s problem, they’re going to like you for it and you’ll do well.’ I try to be quite entrepreneurial about this. I figure out a pain point or something that’s not going well, and then really lean in to try and fix it. You think of a more efficient way of doing things and then deliver. If you’re solving somebody’s problem and if you’re making their day better, that sets you up for a great career. If you’re always quick to help other people, you’ll build solid relationships and networks.
Technology finds real-world solutions to complex problems
Across all industries, technology brings real-world solutions to complicated problems in terms of efficiency and connectivity. It has a huge impact on organizations and individuals. You can look at a company that you cover and realise that before a software solution was implemented, it took hundreds of individuals long hours to complete a task that now can be done to a much higher standard by running code. Technological change is as profound as it is palpable.
I’ve always found investing intellectually empowering
I knew I wanted a career in tech when I previously worked at a venture capital firm. It was early seed investing, but I thought it was empowering that I was given this job to try to predict the future trajectory of a company. What I really like about investing is the ability to dive deep into the business, really figure out how it operates and have a tangible impact on improving things.