Hi, I'm Lee!
👋 My GitHub profile is my homepage now.
I'm a Partner at Root Ventures (GitHub) in San Francisco focused on investing in Seed-stage companies working on what I call hard software - tools and services for developers, data scientists & engineers, other technical roles, and tools to give non-technical folks those superpowers; as well as startups where AI & machine learning are the core technology. I love working with software engineers of all kinds. If your founding team are great engineers, and that's a good thing, because you're going to need it for what you're building - we'd love to talk to you.
I built our fun little website: here
What I invest in
- We invest in hard tech (What does that mean?)
- ...at the seed stage (or pre-seed, or post-seed.)
- I often ask these questions before investing.
- This is how I think about the developer tools and gamedev tools industries.
Companies I work with
Open Source Deal Memos
A few highlights
- My contrarian opinions about devtools
- Building our own video conferencing solution with daily.co
- Floors and ceilings
- What is hard software
- If you learn these 3 things, you can make anything
- Developer tools are enterprise software
- Developer tools are consumer software
- Hard tech
Podcasts & Videos
A pretty good way to get to know how I think about the world of software.
- #thisisnotadvice Day 211
- CTO Connection - How to pick the right startup [video, podcast]
- VC Hunting - My First Year at Root
- Corecursive - Investing in Open Source
- Sand Hill Road - Financing Hard Tech
- Disruptive Innovation - Hard Tech Startups
- Village Global - Hard Tech w/ Trae Vasallo
- Neoliberal Podcast - What is Venture Capital?
I still code for fun. A lot of my projects are kind of silly and maybe a bit overly contrived. I'll often choose a technology just to try to learn it, but I still love coding and always do a company's Hello World before investing.
- our video conferencing software at Root Ventures, which I called Meet, I think before Google (or at least before I'd heard of Google Meet). Built with the Daily.co API, written about here.
- a Chat Roulette clone built with the Daily.co API.
- we have a mobile web app that lets us manage our Root Ventures office party drink list called rebar. It uses Dark on the backend.
- I built my blog, lee.af backend on self-hosted headless Ghost, hosted on Heroku (Code), and front-end as a React single-page app using create-react-app (Code) with a modified ghostium theme (Code).
- I used to be a competitive Star Wars CCG player and I used the concept of a two-player card table to test out just about every client-to-client sync library out there. That's Asteroid, Skyhopper, Twin-Ion
In the News
- The time I got in f-bomb into the headline of a Business Insider article
- The time the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about my Zoom birthday party
- The time Business Insider wrote about me going to the gym
I'm on Clubhouse a lot. There are a few shows I host regularly: