Engineers are poets who speak math.
An essential part of building purposeful new technology is sharing the journey. Working with Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company, Virgin Orbit, and Kitty Hawk’s EVTOL solutions taught me the importance of building goodwill by sharing your progress, especially for technology that we haven’t yet seen or tried. True leaders have the courage to help us see what we can’t yet even imagine. Failure leads to both learning and progress, and kindness is an underrated leadership trait. I enjoy helping founding teams share their stories — and convey their optimism and questions about the future.
I once told Dan Rather that the engineers I worked with are poets who speak math. (He liked that.) Collective progress happens when our command of the technical is inspired by our humanity. EVTOL has the potential to make more room in our built environment for human work and play. Space access for civilians will continue to improve life on Earth. I’m also a believer in the power of culture to break taboos such as enabling cannabis regulation and adult access. M13 is the chance to collaborate with diverse changemakers shaping how we live today—and how our children will thrive tomorrow.
In college, I joined Teach For America and became a founding member of a generation-defining social movement. We were social entrepreneurs before the phrase existed. The greatest privilege is working alongside people with an intentional vision that expands access and transforms lives. I learned so much from the last dozen years with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin company founders in launching Virgin brands in North America across entrenched industries. When you choose to be the customer champion, as Virgin did, business decisions are at once intuitive, challenging and a hell of a lot of fun.
Brighter Together can’t happen without community. The sparks of diverse perspectives and shared experiences move us forward. It takes convening power to gather creative and curious solution-oriented makers, and M13 applies that in dynamic ways — in LA, NYC and beyond. I’m excited to connect with more people and make magic happen for our founding teams.
Chemistry and attitude are everything. At M13, everyone works hard, has fun and looks after each other. As we say at KIPP: Work hard, be nice.