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Geek of the Week: Anu Sharma left Amazon for Madrona to invest in helping new businesses

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Anu Sharma. (Photograph courtesy of Anu Sharma)

As somebody who was already curious about investing from a private standpoint, Anu Sharma stated it was at all times on her thoughts to show her “aspect challenge” right into a full time factor. She did that lately when she joined the funding group at Madrona Venture Group.

Sharma, our newest Geek of the Week, spent eight years at Amazon and Amazon Internet Companies, most lately main a product administration group at AWS for a brand new service, AWS Outposts, which extends AWS infrastructure and providers outdoors of AWS owned information facilities to buyer places or colocation areas.

Previous to the tech big, Sharma co-founded an attire e-commerce firm known as LifeLemon, led advertising and marketing at Flipkart, was a developer at Oracle and was an affiliate at Softbank Enterprise Capital in India.

“I’m an engineer and have at all times favored to get to the primary ideas on why we create new merchandise earlier than diving into the what and the way,” Sharma stated. “At Amazon, I used to be fortunate to have been a part of the outstanding development in AWS and noticed the diploma of readability folks had about why, what, and the way in addition to how they acquired there.”

Sharma felt that there was a possibility to use that very same rigor in evaluating new enterprise alternatives and in rising younger corporations. She needed needed to construct on her strengths of connecting a number of completely different items collectively along with diving deep the place required.

Calling Madrona “the perfect investing group in Seattle,” Sharma was nudged towards the VC by a number of good buddies, together with Algorithmia CEO Diego Oppenheimer. Sharma had additionally recognized Madrona’s Tim Porter and Soma Somasegar for a bit, and after the Outposts group and enterprise at AWS have been “firing on all cylinders,” she thought it could be an excellent time to achieve out.

In her new function, Sharma joked that amongst her experience she brings together with her “the flexibility to learn lengthy paperwork.”

“Jokes apart, essentially the most essential experiences have been watching what corporations appear like the place they’re on a tear, rising like loopy, and what swish management appears like in occasions of onerous choices,” she stated.

Sharma is concentrated on enterprise software program and providers, particularly “horizontal (cross vertical) performs that decrease the barrier for studying and utilization.”

“I do roughly the identical issues as a board member and as an investor at Madrona,” she stated. “As a board member, I accomplice with founders and product leaders in refining the small print of product and go-to-market technique, diagnose pitfalls in execution, and assist navigate robust choices. As an investor, I attempt to uncover large alternatives for brand new companies.

Requested what she likes to do away from work, Sharma admitted to being a little bit of a workaholic.

“If I have been to pack for a trip, I’d pack books on neuroscience,” she stated. “Or if I took a break yr, I’d enroll into UW’s neuroscience programs.”

Study extra about this week’s Geek of the Week, Anu Sharma:

What do you do, and why do you do it? On typical day, I’m normally tinkering with one thing. It’s onerous to name it “constructing” as a result of the constructing half isn’t carried out. It’s extra like figuring one thing out whereas tinkering with it. As soon as I resolve one thing, I discover different people who find themselves curious about the identical subject and attempt to join the dots with them. We begin to body hypotheses on how the context across the subject could play out over time, validate the hypotheses, and construct momentum round it.

After a number of days, I write down the whole lot I’ve gathered and craft a story that we will take a look at over time. As occasions unravel, a fuzzy image turns into sharper and sharper. Generally once we’re fortunate, we’re capable of make investments and accomplice with a number of the most excellent folks on the planet to assist create that image.

And I’m much more fortunate to have the ability to make residing out of what I like to do.

What’s the only most vital factor folks ought to learn about your subject? “There’s no tyranny higher than not with the ability to suppose for your self.”  — from a TV sequence that I used to be watching lately (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”). I couldn’t have stated it higher myself.

The place do you discover your inspiration? I like struggle tales and the extraordinary individuals who work of their research pouring over analysis, scout the streets for info, and crawl within the trenches combating to defend their nation or trigger.

What’s the one piece of expertise you couldn’t reside with out, and why? The web + Wi-Fi; even on a vacation, I would like these earlier than I search for a bathe.

(Photograph courtesy of Anu Sharma)

What’s your workspace like, and why does it give you the results you want? My window appears out to the UW campus over Portage Bay. The whiteboard is behind me. I like watering the vegetation in my little nook after I want a break … the deck simply outdoors my workplace is enjoyable to hang around after I need to curl up with a e-book and absorb the solar

Your finest tip or trick for managing on a regular basis work and life. (Assist us out, we want it.) I’m a morning particular person, so I get up at four a.m., find time for a exercise within the morning, and love having a wind-down routine like cooking or heading out for a stroll within the night.

Mac, Home windows or Linux? Mac.

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? Dr. Who (I like “Star Trek,” nevertheless it’s No. 2 on the record).

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Time Machine, no query.

If somebody gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I’d … Get to work on the time machine!

Your function fashions: Margaret Thatcher … for her work ethic, braveness, conviction, and wit.

Biggest sport in historical past: Civilization sequence -> time journey + struggle technique = epic tales.

Finest gadget ever: iPhone.

First laptop: PC with Intel i386.

Present cellphone: iPhone X.

Favourite app: Roam … net app, coming to the cellphone.

Favourite trigger: Kids’s training and well being.

Most vital expertise of 2020: Correct and quick detection of an infection.

Most vital expertise of 2022: Studying effectivity with digital training and coaching.

Last phrases of recommendation to your fellow geeks: “By no means run once you’re scared.” — Dr. Who.

Twitter: @anusharma

LinkedIn: Anu Sharma 

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