Community is one of our top values at Pear. We believe deeply in the power of deep, authentic connections — it’s how founding partner, Pejman, went from being a rug salesman to a tech investor, after all.
Since the early days, we’ve devoted a lot of energy into nurturing a vibrant community of high-caliber founders, and we know how much work it takes. That’s why we’re excited to announce our new pre-seed partnership with a company seeking to empower the superheroes who do this important work: Gatsby.
Like all of the founders we back, Zach Rivkin is someone who deeply understands the problem he’s working on. As Joe Lonsdale’s Chief of Staff at 8VC, Zach had a hand in helping to manage Joe’s network. One of the most meaningful ways of nurturing relationships is to host intimate events, and Zach quickly became very familiar with the painful process of pulling such gatherings together.
“Let’s say there’s someone visiting from out of town, and you want to have a dinner with them, and maybe eight other people in your network. Who should you invite? How do you send those invites out? How do you figure out the seating chart? How do you track people’s dietary restrictions? How do you collaborate on this with other people in your team? There are lots of these small little things. I’d be back and forth all the time with the admins and executives trying to figure out how to work through these problems. And if these things break, it’s really bad!”
As someone with a front row seat to innovation, Zach thought, why don’t we actually try to use technology to fix these annoying workflow issues?
Back in August, Zach had met his first cofounder, Michael Zuccarino: an engineer at Pinterest with a deep passion for building indispensable products. The two had already been building on the side for fun and loved working together. They then brought in creative technologist, Chris Zelazo, from Pinterest to complete the team as their third cofounder. Michael and Chris first worked together on a project for Apple to rapidly prototype a new feature in the Pinterest app, which was demoed and presented at WWDC ‘19.
The magic moment happened when these three builders aligned on the Gatsby vision: build a powerful technology system to serve the administrative workers who manage high-stakes, complex relationships and their related workflows, such as intimate event planning.
You might be wondering why a good tech solution doesn’t exist yet, especially in such a tech-forward industry. We like it when our founders have some ideas:
“I think admins are somewhat trained to always make it look like everything is working seamlessly behind the curtain,” says Zach. “Also, I don’t think a lot of people ask admins for their opinions on what could be done better. It’s framed as a very execution oriented role as opposed to strategic, but I view a lot of this administrative work as highly strategic.”
We love that Zach has empathy for his users in spades.
“These admins are super powerful in a way that most people overlook. Their executives rely on them. They have tons of context and knowledge in their head, because they see everything going on. They own the keys to the castle and determine who gets meetings and who gets pushed forward.”
Indeed, we agree with Zach — it’s time to supercharge those powers with technology. We’re thrilled to be partnering with 8VC to back this incredible team.