He had the privilege of plying his trade with those innovative fireballs who took the brave leap during the young days of the 21st century – Ashar Aziz, Sanjit Biswas & Hans Robertson, Brian Chesky, Patrick & John Collison, Kevin & Julia Hartz, David Helgason, Reid Hoffman, Steve Hafner & Paul English, Drew Houston & Arash Ferdowsi, Tony Hsieh, Chad Hurley & Steve Chen, Jan Kuom, Phil Libin, Fred Luddy, Hosain Rahman, Steve Streit, Peter Thiel, Marco Zappacosta, Nir Zuk – and scores of other incredibly talented innovators.
Mark is incapable of saying “no” to those whose impressive IQ, domain expertise, and technical prowess are exceeded by their EQ, passion, and grit. What gets him up in the morning and puts the beat in his step is the chance to help them sharpen their aim to change a corner of the world and reconfigure the balance of power in their industry. The glass, when optimistically half full, allows him to dream that these founders have a real shot of making both an economic impact and a human impact on those they serve (the former must precede the latter).Through these founder stories, Mark derives his empathy for the highs and lows of their entrepreneurial journey. It’s also where he gets his passion to solve the “lonely leader problem” that comes from encountering issues and opportunities, unique to companies of this size and speed, and often having no one that they can turn to for ideas or guidance. From these threads, Mark is weaving the fabric of our firm’s most coveted relationships via The Circle, which he founded as a private leadership community. A peer-to-peer network where each member helps to scale one another so they all can scale their companies.
by Ken Loveless