The Story Behind My Investment In WorkRamp

About a year ago, a few ex-Box friends mentioned one of their colleagues “Ted” was starting a new company. That was enough for me to swing into action. I googled around and targeted “Ted Blosser,” found we had a few close friends in common, and a few email requests later, found myself sitting in his makeshift office near Facebook HQ. In the first meeting, it was clear that Ted was driven, had a vision for the product he wanted to build, and took a sober approach to testing and refining his hypotheses as he built.

We talked about general investment strategies, not related to his company, “WorkRamp“, and I liked Ted so much that I offered to start making customer introductions for the product. Generally, I like this way of getting to know a founder and product. I prefer to make introductions in advance of investing so I can build up a rapport with the founder, see how they leverage my network, see how they communicate, see how they use persuasion techniques, and so much more. Ted passed with flying colors.

Ted decided to raise a smaller round to start and luckily I received a call to participate in WorkRamp’s first round. I accepted and Haystack is a proud early investor in the company. Fast-forward to today, WorkRamp recently announced “The Work Room,” its platform play to connect employees with product leaders at other companies, such as Airbnb, Uber, and others. The ultimate goal is to help drive the democratization of all that expertise into a training platform for WorkRamp customers. It’s been great to see Ted and his team move so quickly in this emerging space. As new and growing technology companies hire more people quickly, traditional learning management systems aren’t equipped to help new recruits get up-to-speed on how the most cutting-edge companies are run. A marketplace model is the perfect solution to getting the right information from the right minds into the right hands. Keep an eye on Ted and the WorkRamp team — they’re knocking down customer targets left and right, and it’s been fun to watch.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2017 Semil Shah.

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