Episode 7: the fox and the hedgehog: my talk with Amol Sarva

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A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one important thing

In a recent episode of my show, Venture Studio, I spoke with one of the most fascinating people in the New York technology/entreprenurial community, Amol Sarva, on a wide range of topics. We spoke about his life not just as a company builder, (for which he is widely known), but also about his approach to angel investing. He's in 38+ companies already and it was fascinating to learn of his philosophy and approach.

At one juncture Amol, (who has a Phd in philosophy from Stanford), refers to an ancient parable attributed to Archilocus, which philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote an essay about in 1953. The fragment read, "a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one important thing". Amol realized close to a decade ago that he identified with the fox, even though everything in his upbringing and education had trained him to be a hedgehog.

This realization has led to an immense creative and productive period in his life in which he's co-founded several startups such as Halo Neuroscience (backed by Andreessen Horowitz and others), Knotable, BEMAVEN and Knotel, constructed a building in Long Island City known as East of East and invested in 38+ companies. Of course this is alongside his family life as a husband and father.

Prior to all this he co-founded Virgin Mobile USA which went public on the NASDAQ and Peek (which pioneered the mass-market smartphone), which he sold to a large Indian conglomerate. He studied cognitive science for his Ph.D. at Stanford with an undergraduate degree from Columbia University.

Amol blogs regularly at amol.sarva.co and you can see a list of his investments at sarva.co. His personal website is amolsarva.com. Follow him here on: twitter

Enjoy our conversation just below and please share via twitter if you enjoy