When I was with Facebook, we had a lot of interesting responses to the motto "Move fast and break things." It can be a double-edged sword, but for a young company, it's really the only universally applicable maxim. You're in a race with time.Bubba Murarka thrives on meeting people who are smart, passionate, and working hard to change the world. At DFJ, that's what he does, every day. He currently serves on the boards of CircleCI, Mast Mobile, Mindshow, and Twin Prime.
He focuses on consumer Internet, VR/AR, and mobile technology startups. Bubba chose to work at DFJ because of the firm's willingness to consider big, bold, and even crazy ideas. Ten years ago, who would have thought there would be an opportunity to invest in commercial rockets? Yet, Steve Jurvetson looked out 10 to 15 years and made a bet on SpaceX.
Bubba was drawn to the intellectual curiosity and bright minds at DFJ, where there are former CEOs and management consultants, and people with hardcore science and technical backgrounds. Although most venture capital firms claim to have all the boxes checked, Bubba believes that no other firm rivals DFJ.
At DFJ, he fits right in. He grew up in Silicon Valley, the child of immigrants. His parents— major influences in his life—were both extremely technical (Dad was a scientist and Mom a programmer). He admired Bill Gates and saw Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak around his neighborhood. He was drawn to all three men because he used Microsoft and Apple products, and he thought that one day he'd like to also build things that people find useful.
He has since become the named inventor on more than 30 US patents and spent time in leading roles at Microsoft and Facebook. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, earning BS and MS degrees in computer science.
When working with entrepreneurs, Bubba seeks out people with character, relentlessness, and a willingness to iterate quickly. He knows from personal experience that starting a company is hard. He wants to know how the founder deals with adversity. How many times have they failed and how did they recover? Do they have the "growth gene" that makes them willing to take feedback and improve?
Bubba makes investment decisions based on the founder's team, their enthusiasm about getting behind the idea, and the size of the opportunity. He also digs deep to understand the startup from engineering and business perspectives, and considers a third aspect that's becoming increasingly important: design. Although it may sound esoteric to argue about fonts or shades of yellow, design can meaningfully drive growth.