Mayfield Fund managing partner Tim Chang is going long on the idea of the “quantified self,” which is about using the latest in both hardware and software technology to keep detailed tabs of people’s daily habits in the hopes of gradually improving their lives. Chang has written a three-part series of really interesting articles about the quantified self for TechCrunch in recent weeks, so we were pleased to have the chance to interview him on TechCrunch TV to hear him explain in a bit more detail about the space and where it’s going.
You can watch our full discussion in the video above, but here are a few interesting points he made:
Chang has years of experience investing in gaming startups, and he sees the principles of that industry as being key to making the quantified self really take off. “When you marry gamification with the quantified self, that’s where i think the real fun begins,” Chang said. “When it’s fun, people will care, they’ll stick around, and they’ll actually engage with these types of products. Data is not engaging by itself.”
“This notion of quantified self is not just about health and wellness. It’s about your consumer habits all throughout your day, from what sites you surf, what you buy, to what you like to brag about on your Facebook and Twitter,” Chang said. Measuring these actions can help make people more deliberate about their habits in all aspects of their lives. Even BranchOut, the professional social network in which Mayfield just led a $25 million investment, fits into this idea, Chang said.
“I’m really big into vertical communities that are going to pop up around interests, or these other aspirational personas you have. Because if you think about it, people aren’t black and white,” Chang said. “We’re all like onions in the sense that we have all these sub-personas and layers to ourselves. There are a lot of interests that we have. Each of those interests have their own community, and you want to meet new people in those interests as well.”
Tim is a Managing Director at Mayfield Fund, focusing on investments in mobile, gaming, digital media, social media, eCommerce, and AdTech in the US and China. Tim’s venture investments have generated more than $1.3B in M&A exit value, and he was named on the Forbes 2011 Midas List of Top Dealmakers. Previously, Tim was a Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, where led NVP’s investments in AdChina, PCH International, All Reach Media, Lumos Labs, Basis, Badgeville, Brite Semiconductor and...
Mayfield Fund is one of the oldest venture capital firms in the US, focusing on early-stage to growth-stage investments in information technology companies, in particular on enterprise software, Internet consumer & media services, and communications. The firm was founded in 1969 by Thomas J. Davis, Jr.. Since inception, the firm has raised over $2.8 billion of investor commitments across 13 private equity funds. The firm’s most notable investments include Compaq, Silicon Graphics, 3COM, Amgen, Genentech, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sandisk, Legato Software, Citrix,...