Dino is the ultimate player-coach. He hustles for you whenever needed and provides invaluable insights and perspective as you build your winning strategy.Aaron Hawkey,
Co-founder and co-CEO of BallerTV
Dino joined Index in 2017 and primarily invests in internet and software businesses across all stages. Prior to joining Index, Dino worked at Kleiner Perkins, where he helped invest in Ring (acquired by Amazon). Prior to Kleiner Perkins, Dino worked at Goldman Sachs and Twitter. He graduated summa cum laude from USC with a degree in industrial & systems engineering.
Where do you look and what do you look for in potential investments?
DINO — It all starts with the founders. I look for a few key attributes, notably a learn-it-all attitude, a profound and deep motivation that is driving them, and an introspective nature that allows them to understand their own strengths and shortcomings. Then it's about understanding the fitness of an idea and the potential size of prize if everything works. Ideally, it's an idea inspired by an emerging technology or market shift translating into a new experience or a cheaper and better experience compared to the status quo. I saw this firsthand with Ring, which built a superior home security product at a fraction of the cost of incumbent solutions. This allowed them to become the largest home security business in the US and reach millions of households in just a few years.
How does your passion for sports translate to venture capital?
DINO — I see a lot of parallels between managing a sports team and running a startup. Both are hyper-competitive fields where there is no guarantee or formula for success, only means by which to increase your probability of success. Focus on the things you can control such as maintaining a culture of excellence, aligning teammates to a higher purpose than their own self-interests, constantly planning for any situation, and relentlessly seeking solutions to increase your odds. By doing so, the score will take care of itself. That is how you create a sports dynasty or a company that survives 100 years.