Photo: Nation Builder
Joe Green was Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate at Harvard. His father advised him not to join Facebook and to stay in school. In hindsight, that decision cost Green a $30 billion fortune.But that didn’t keep Green from starting a company of his own. Green, who says he has no regrets about the missed Facebook opportunity, created Causes.com and NationBuilder. At least five early Facebookers invested in his startup.
But now Green is leaving NationBuilder for one of the firms that invested in it, Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z). He’s becoming an Entrepreneur in Residence there.
Entrepreneur-in-residence programs are a way for venture capitalists to keep talented founders and executives close to their firm. Firms don’t hire EIRs off the street; they typically come from the ranks of companies the firm has backed. EIRs typically attend meetings and advise portfolio firms while working on their ideas. Sometimes it just offers a place to hang their hat between companies; sometimes it allows for truly fruitful collaboration.
Benchmark Capital’s EIR program has been particularly productive, with Bret Taylor producing FriendFeed and Paul Davison going on to launch Highlight.
Green wrote the news on his Facebook page:
As most of you know I have spent the last couple years as Co-Founder and President of NationBuilder. Today I am announcing I am stepping down as President and away from day to day operations, though I will continue supporting the company as a member of the Board of Directors along with Jim Gilliam, Sean Parker, and Ben Horowitz. I want to thank Ben Horowitz, Marc Andreessen and the team at Andreessen Horowitz for offering me a position as EIR at Andreesen Horowitz, where I am excited to work with the best team in venture and help fellow entrepreneurs. I also am going to be diving back into political advocacy. I have spent the last 7 years building the tools to empower political change online, now it is time for me put them to use myself. I look forward to announcing some exciting initiatives in the coming weeks.
Working with Jim, Jesse, Daniel Walmsley, Adriel Hampton, Lea, Katie Yording my brother Jacob Green and our whole team has been a dream come true for me. I am particularly proud my good friends Edward Rawlinson and Michael Moschellahave recently joined. Since I first saw Friendster as an intern in the New Hampshire primary, I have been pursuing the dream of bringing community organising online. The traditions of organising, which go back thousands of years, when combined with the broad deployment of the social graph are empowering a whole new set of leaders at a scale never thought possible. This is what led me to found and run Causes for 4 years, and when I first met Jim Gilliam I knew immediately I had met someone whose life path had also led them to this vision. It has been a privilege to spend the last couple years working to make this vision a reality. I look forward to continuing to do everything I can as a member of the board.