Hey, I'm Dan! I'm the CEO of Plus and a venture partner at Madrona. I write the DL, a newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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Three Areas I'm Investing In

In case you’re wondering what themes I’m most interested in right now, here are three areas where I’m excited to find and fund new startups:

  • Low code platforms - This is a huge (buzzy) category, but many successful companies in this space start with solving one problem well and expanding from there. One area of opportunity is improving “interfaces” between teams by building solutions to reduce back and forth communication cycles. For example, Dyspatch allows marketers to build dynamic emails without having developers write code, and Streamlit allows data scientists to turn their python notebooks into web apps without additional developer time.

  • “Multiplayer” productivity - Legacy productivity apps like Word and Excel are “single-player,” but next gen apps like Coda and Smartsheet are built for “multiplayer” collaboration. Beyond documents, companies like Front and Figma have also built collaborative versions of apps like Outlook and Photoshop. The ability to collaborate in real-time creates enormous value for customers, and as we’ve seen with G Suite and Office, users are willing to trade off functionality in order to have better collaboration. Over time, there will be a “multiplayer” version of every productivity app, and this is a major area of opportunity.

  • Communities - Communities are valuable. Just look at Microsoft’s last three $1B+ acquisitions: Minecraft, LinkedIn, and Github (and maybe TikTok!). As products become cheaper and easier to launch, it’s harder and harder to build something that can’t be copied, so communities of customers and partners are an important moat for both consumer and enterprise companies. Whether companies start with a product and build a community (like Slack) or start with the community and define a product (like many open source projects), this is an area where there will be many exciting investment opportunities.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in starting or joining a company in any of these areas, hit me up!

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