I went to medical school and did my residency with Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, managing partner at GV and a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. We first met after a talk I'd given on human genetics, when Krishna approached me and said, "Hey, could we have lunch? I want to hear more about this." Little did I know that my relationship with Krishna would grow into one of the defining elements of my career!
When I eventually joined Krishna and the team to become a venture partner at GV, the proximity to Google gave me an appreciation for what a real engineering organization looks like. At the beginning, even though I knew how to write code and knew the math behind machine learning, I didn't understand the operational side of things: What's a Site Reliability Engineer? What's a Product Manager? The more I learned, I began to realize that I didn't want to be a traditional academic. Instead, I decided to build something that looked like a commercial technology organization at the Broad.
Krishna embodies this mix of being both an intellectual and a business person. Most of his investments are at the intersection of life sciences and data sciences, like Flatiron Health, Foundation Medicine, EQRx, and Imagen. He's interested in finding companies at that interface. You'll hear him talk about starting his first company, making the mistake of hiring his friends, and the bumps and bruises of learning.
That's something that I now see over and over again, and is a big part of being a VC. Figure out the right companies to invest in, and then help the founders make new mistakes rather than repeat old ones. When I first started working with Krishna, I did not realize how much impact this could have. As I said, I think that few things have changed my life more than meeting Krishna.