Michael is the CEO of Button, with a long career including executive roles at Rakuten and a stint as a presidential campaign aide to John McCain. Authentic, meaningful relationships have been a throughline across his expansive career—and he offers a load of helpful tips on how to build them. Check out this episode for nuggets including the best jobs to get out of college, the three strongest paths to connecting with a VC, and how to avoid a major networking mistake the first time you meet someone.
April Underwood is the former Chief Product Officer at Slack. She was early at Twitter and made great friends at Google. As she describes in the podcast, the collection of people from companies A, B, and C is the foundation of one's network. April picked companies where she loved the product and knew these were people (Stewart Butterfield, Dick Costolo) she'd love building with. At this point in her career, April is an early-stage investor, co-founder of #ANGELS, and serves on the boards of Zillow and Eventbrite. In a fun conversation with Annie, hear April’s recommendations on building relationships, making good asks, and connecting friends.Text Link
Pejman is the co-founder and managing director of Pear VC, one of the most successful investment firms in Silicon Valley. Over the past two decades, he has been a seed investor in some of the most iconic tech companies, including Doordash, Dropbox, Applovin, Gusto, and many more. An Iranian immigrant, Pejman took an unconventional career path, building up his network while working as a rug salesman in Palo Alto. Hear him share incredible stories—like the time he brought the entire partnership of Sequoia Capital into his rug gallery—and timeless lessons about the value of carefully building a network over time and the power of leaning into what makes you unique.Text Link
Bob, the godfather of ethernet and namesake of Metcalfe’s Law, knows a bit about networking. His perspective on how connected nodes come together to form a whole greater than the sum of its parts is well-earned after a 50+ year career stretching back to the salad days of Xerox PARC. Hear Bob offer timeless advice on building relationships, making connections, and the value of helping others succeed.Text Link
As Global Head of Recruiting at Notion, Kate has an interesting vantage point on tech career journeys. But her own path is a powerful example of how growth is a jungle gym, not a ladder. Kate launched her career with a cold email to Marc Benioff (at a point when Salesforce had 4,000 employees!) and spent years in sales roles at Salesforce, Dropbox, and Notion, where she rose to become Head of SMB revenue before making a leap into people and recruiting. Kate’s story is full of simple but powerful points on the value of relationships across careers—and she offers priceless advice on how to ask strangers for help.Text Link
Veere has been recognized multiple times as one of the top interior designers in the world by leading magazines and tastemakers. At the helm of his eponymous firm, Veere has designed interiors across the globe and seen his own home featured in Architectural Digest. Veere built his career slowly but organically, combining a relentless drive to follow his passions with a strong work ethic and commitment to service. In our conversation, Veere offers timeless and universal insights into how apprenticeship, professionalism, and dedication to craft can weave into a powerful fabric of relationships capable of elevating anyone to the top of their profession.Text Link
Molly is a technology executive, advisor, and board member whose resume includes helping both Google and Facebook navigate periods of intense scaling, serving as COO of Lambda School, leading operations at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and more. Molly credits relationships for opening doors and catapulting her career forward. Her story is packed with lessons on the outsized power of being a friend, how curiosity can forge meaningful relationships quickly, and how to build and make use of a personal council of advisors.Text Link
As a 2x CEO with a $640 million exit and early investments in unicorns AppLovin and Chime on his resume, relationships have been essential to Tod’s success. But for him, “networking” isn’t the right word to describe his strategy. It’s all about genuine, meaningful connections, built by bringing people together around shared interests and passions. Our conversation with Tod was packed with insights about the value of being a host, why curation is a relationship-building superpower, and the importance of reminding people you’re still alive.Text Link