Have you ever felt like an outsider that didn’t belong even after you earned a seat at the table? Our guest Mallun Yen has faced and successfully overcome this challenge over and over again in her career. She reveals how being an outsider fueled her creativity and helped her tap into the power of community to find breakthrough solutions. She was able to think outside the box because she didn’t even know there was a box!
Mallun is the Founder and Partner of Operator Collective, a $50M venture fund that brings together senior operators from diverse backgrounds as Limited Partners. This is a group critical to a startup’s success but largely absent from the historically white male venture industry. Mallun has assembled a close knit community of 130 incredibly talented Operator LPs who have built up the world's most admired companies like Zoom, Stripe, Salesforce and Slack. 90% of the LPs are women, and more than 40% of them are people of color! Prior to Operator Collective, Mallun was Vice President at Cisco, founding team member at multiple category-creating startups, including RPX ($0 to $100M & IPO in 3 years) and SaaStr (world’s largest b2b software community).
In this episode, Mallun discusses why building powerful communities is the key to changing the status quo and what has helped her bring people together for a common cause. She also shares her bold vision of an inclusive world where every dreamer and every doer can go beyond barriers.
[02:57] Mallun’s career journey
[11:57] Being an outsider can be an asset
[18:30] What makes the Operator Collective different from traditional VC funds
[23:37] Solving for the gender gap in investors
[31:57] Facilitating power, wealth and influence for women
[37:59] Asking your community for help
[48:02] Advice on expanding your personal network
[53:39] Mallun’s biggest dream for the future
“Being the outsider allows you to think outside of the box.” – Mallun Yen
“When you start a relationship that is both personal and business-related, it is much more natural to continue having the business part of it.” – Mallun Yen
“Be deliberate in building your relationships.” – Mallun Yen
“You can treat people well, put culture first, build relationships, and still build an ultra-successful company.” – Mallun Yen
About Mallun Yen:
Mallun Yen is the Founder and Partner of Operator Collective, a $50M fund that brings together as LPs a group critical to a startup’s success but largely absent from the historically male and white venture industry: senior operators from diverse backgrounds. Beyond having assembled a close knit community of 130 mind-bogglingly talented Operator LPs who have built up the world's most admired companies like Zoom, Stripe, Salesforce and Slack, notably and deliberately 90% of the LPs are women, and more than 40% of them are people of color.
Previously a Cisco Vice President, Mallun has built up multiple successful, category-creating startups, including as part of the founding teams at venture-backed RPX ($0 to $100M & IPO in 3 years) and SaaStr (world’s largest b2b software community).
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