Hunter Walk is a popular investor, which means he's had to refine his process for identifying startups he wants to work with. But just one question stands above all the others.
H unter Walk has made a career for himself separating the wheat from the chaff. The former Google product manager who ended up leading YouTube's consumer product team is now a partner at Homebrew, a seed-stage investment company, based in San Franscisco.
But time is money, as the saying goes, and with a reputation like Walk's, the potential future partners are plentiful. In a blog post earlier this week, Walk shared the one question he relies upon more than any other to accelerate the "would we work well together" conversation. Based on his company's portfolio, only six companies have passed the test, one just yesterday.
"One question which matters to me is the "why" of your startups, especially as it relates to your longevity as a founder," he wrote. "The most difficult question for some founders is 'why do you want to spend 10 years of your life working on solving this problem.'" He explained that most startups don't even make it this long, so a gauge of the founder's commitment can make or break a deal.
At Walk's current company, named after the Homebrew Computer Club of the 1970s that helped spawn Apple computers and other companies, six startups have passed the test: Layer, an Internet communications company, Plaid, a banking API company, Shyp, to ship goods, theSkimm, an e-newsletter, UpCounsel, for legal advice, and yesterday, Q, an office management company that announced a seed round.
Six other unannounced startups are in Homebrew's portfolio, ranging from a debit-card alternative to a mobile app for mental health.
Walk, was also a founding member of the product and marketing team at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, which in 2011 generated$100 million revenue, and in June celebrated its 11th birthday, and is currently undergoing a revamp.
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