Earlier today, CNNMoney broke the news that well-known Googler/YouTuber Hunter Walk and former Googler Satya Patel would be starting a new VC firm called Homebrew. What wasn’t known was whether Walk would be leaving Google to pursue Homebrew full time, but he has confirmed that to be the case.
The last time we spoke with Walk, he was passionately explaining all of the things he gets to work on with the YouTube For Good team. It consisted of people with all types of skill-sets, including forward-thinkers and leaders like Walk, who would help non-profits and organizations spread their messages and raise awareness for their programs using YouTube.
In a blog post, which is the email that Walk sent to his colleagues at Google, he thanked those who brought him into the company and gave a glimpse into the Google culture that you hear from those who have “re-entered the mainstream” after leaving the Mountain View company:
After nine years, two months it’s time for me to figure out how to make lunch for myself. Yup, I’m leaving Google and it’s my year-old daughter’s fault. You see, when I look at her I think about the values my wife and I want to instill. Among the most important is the belief that you should pursue all your dreams, think big, lean into your fears and keep building. The best way for me to teach this is by example, so I need to step away from Google’s comfort. No next adventure to announce yet – this is about feeling there’s more for me to do, but also knowing I need some space to figure it out.
Google has changed my life. The chance to work with so many smart and creative people – thank you for letting me learn from you. There’s no university in the world which could have supplied equal education. Because of my time at Google I truly look at the world in a different way, one of problems waiting to be solved rather than insurmountable obstacles or indelible truths. I’m especially appreciative of Joan Braddi, Susan Wojcicki, Chad Hurley and Salar Kamangar – leaders who took me into their teams and, when it was time, encouraged me to find new challenges. Selfless, intelligent and loyal to Google.
While being inside of Google is special, passing through the membrane back into the outside world is also a unique time, one which affords me a few perspectives on being a Googler. Our best efforts come from desire to thrill our users, not from fear of competitors. Work hard and be uncompromising but treat one another with kindness. So many of our products have continued growth ahead and I’m especially excited to watch YouTube’s accelerating evolution towards the first global livingroom.
Here’s to truly hoping I have the chance to work again with all of you. If I can ever be of help, don’t hesitate to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile.
It’s probably only fitting that I leave you with a favorite video: http://youtu.be/DxwdskaRxcU
The video in his email is a lip-sync that was six years in the making, which is kind of a metaphor for the preparation that Walk has been through for his new venture:
Patel has spent time at Twitter in addition to being senior product manager for AdSense, and he invested in companies for Battery Ventures as a VC.
Walk joined us on TCTV to discuss a cookbook for Geeks, which benefits charity. It will be interesting to see what types of companies the two decide to invest in, and I imagine that the fabric those startups will be made of will be very unique. There’s something special in the DNA of some of the folks who work at Google, and seeing them break out onto their own is exciting.
All that we know now is that the two will be focused on enabling “the people-based economy.”
[Photo credit: Flickr]
Hunter Walk is the director of Product Management at Google, focused primarily on YouTube. He joined Google in December 2003 after serving as a member of the founding team of Second Life at Linden Lab from 2001 to 2003.
Satya joined Battery in 2007 and focuses on the Software, Consumer Internet and Digital Media markets. He is on the boards of BlueKai, BrightEdge, ChoiceVendor, FreeWheel, Jelli, LiveIntent, and Lotame and is a board observer for Angie’s List and Bazaarvoice. Satya’s prior experience spans more than a decade in online media and software, both in operating and investing roles. Before joining Battery, Satya spent several years at Google, most recently as Senior Product Manager for AdSense. Beginning in 2003,...