Written for you, the founder, on how to use me.
Who I am
👋🏽 Hello! I'm Ian Logan, an investor, advisor, and former Airbnb engineering leader. I’m also an operator angel investor and backer of founders.
Previously, I was the 1st payments engineer and employee ~20 at Airbnb (YC W09). For 6+ years, I was one of the first engineering leaders directing over 110 engineers as Airbnb grew 100X on every metric. 📈
My performance metric is the CS:H ratio (Check-size:Helpfulness). I aim to be a high value addition to your cap table. ⚡️
I go by my middle name, Ian. My parents named me Albert, my first name, which I don't go by outside of wiring checks to you. 😊
How do I invest?
I moonlight as an operator angel: 👼🏽
- I write $1K-$100K checks using my own capital into seed stage startups.
- I help founders with engineering, data strategy, and team building.
- I'm a diverse check writer (DCW) and workhorse angel.
- I invest in founders that I trust allocating capital more than I do my own and founders I’d be willing to work for.
- I currently live in 🇨🇦, previously lived 10 years in 🇺🇸, and am a first generation Filipino-Canadian-American 🇵🇭.
Why do I invest?
I'm here for the long run to build lasting relationships with great founders. My reasons for investing: 🌱
- Pay it forward with my engineering, scaling, and leadership experience.
- Give back to the startup community by helping purpose-driven founders.
- Share goodwill with my forms of capital: financial, social, human, and cultural.
- Have fun improving the future for generations to come.
- Make a return in the long run but only after achieving each of the above.
Areas that I’m most helpful in
I'm an engineering leader with over a decade of experience working in Silicon Valley. At Airbnb, my first order of engineering was to launch Payments internationally. I then moved into leadership, becoming one of Airbnb's founding Engineering Managers, and then the Director of Engineering launching Airbnb for Business. I was one of three original authors of Airbnb's career framework for ICs and managers. I started the first remote engineering office, in Portland, to build products for CX. I engaged in M&A over 3 acquisitions (Tilt, Bold, ChangeTip) to help the company scale through hyper-growth.
With my experience, here are some ways I help:
- Building quality web and mobile software with superior execution over your competition.
- Coaching CTOs and Heads of Engineering to scale their teams and systems.
- Guiding non-technical CEOs on how to build an engineering team.
- Mentoring senior engineering leaders and engineers on the path to management.
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities between CTO and VP Eng.
- Advising hardware companies on how to build great software.
I enjoy advising by diving into engineering strategy and thinking through tactics with founders. I also support startups through more formal advisory roles, currently at Zip (YC S20), Voiceflow, CoinTracker (YC W18), Carbon Lighthouse, and TOOLBX; previously, Doorr which exited.
I've led modern data architectures from the ground up. From my early financial engineering days writing native SQL stored procedures and triggers, to Airbnb being one of the first adopters of Airflow (before it was open sourced), to Drop creating a data warehouse utilizing ML that powers Cardify, to Rose Rocket establishing a scalable data stack (Snowflake, Looker, dbt, Postgres) with a lean team.
My data experience spans across consumer and B2B startups covering everything required to establish data systems, people (i.e. roles, org design), data culture, and process.
I have a track record of leveraging my personal network to hire early engineers and even Heads of Engineering at startups that I'm an investor in. I introduce people from my network across Silicon Valley and Canada. As a diverse person myself, I also help connect many of the diverse people from my network. I promote open roles on LinkedIn and Twitter, like here and here, and with my membership in C100, a global community of the world's most influential Canadians in tech. I don’t list or sell job board placements. I am the job board. I also help founders open and/or close candidates during the interview process.
I enjoy thinking about hiring strategy and creating an engineering team's brand bespoke to each company. Downstream after hiring, I’ve also worked through many situations (i.e. performance, HR, runway related) involving the firing of individuals which is the responsibility of effective leaders.
Culture & team building
Ultimately, it's the culture that you foster and team that you build which make your company successful. Hiring is one mountain to climb. The next one is building a team who, together, consistently deliver outsized impact (i.e. 1 + 1 = 3). I've learned and experienced the importance of cultivating company culture directly from the founders of Airbnb (Brian, Nate, and Joe). Developing meaningful values while operating like a high performance sports team are critical to achieving sustainable growth. Being thoughtful about the details from the start compounds over time. I believe that naming matters across processes, programs, and the environment that your people operate within. I advise founders on how to build productive teams that ship product rapidly to market.
"A team that iterates quickly on a high-quality product is much more likely to find product-market fit than a team that's moving very slowly and deliberately." — Naval Ravikant
I’m not your yes-investor who agrees with every plan that you form as a founder. I share my honest point of view which sometimes aligns with your plans and other times do not. I like to share different perspectives that are based on my past experiences building products and leading hundreds of people. I’m a great listener. I’m able to efficiently articulate my opinions. Founders share feedback that the advice provided in a conversation with me covers more ground and useful insights compared to others. I operate based on the needs and time of founders which means I’m available when you need me and hands off when you don’t. I’m both candid and empathetic with situations in your startup. I’ve personally worked through several challenging situations myself, such as navigating company layoffs due to the business impact of a pandemic.
As a part of welcoming me into your cap table, I help with fundraising by connecting you with investors from my personal network. As an early Airbnb member, I have many connections who are investors that represent top talent across different disciplines.
Finally, I actively network with larger VCs who respect my opinions and introductions to great founders like you.
Kudos for reading up to this point! Interested? DM me! 🙏🏽✌🏽
If interested, I can help you hire engineers by posting open roles. To learn more, browse the job board that I personally curate:
Do you know any emerging engineers or engineering leaders in your network? I love helping them too!
For founders that I've backed, I aim to be their most valuable angel - I’ve compiled support material (password-protected):