Brady Forrest doesn’t want to lose his connections to the Pacific Northwest even though he just took a job with one of Silicon Valley’s best known venture capitalists. In fact, when I caught up with Forrest this morning, the former technical evangelist for O’Reilly Media and well known organizer of Ignite was prepping for a hike on Tiger Mountain.
It doesn’t get more Northwest geeky than that.
But Forrest will be doing a different type of trekking in the coming months having just landed an associate gig for Khosla Ventures, the famed Sand Hill Road venture firm of legendary investor Vinod Khosla.
Forrest, who plans to relocate to San Francisco later this summer, said that he was ready for a change after six years working at O’Reilly Media where he organized big conferences and spent about half of his time on the road.
“O’Reilly has been an amazing opportunity. I chaired about 20 conferences, wrote hundreds of blog posts, and it was with them that Bre (Pettis) and I started Ignite. They allowed that to flourish,” said Forrest, who will continue to play a tangential role in the Ignite Seattle event series going forward. (O’Reilly and Forrest are currently in discussions on how best to carry forward the larger Ignite series).
Forrest said he was looking to do something with a bigger impact, and “double down” on his skills of spotting new technologies and building a network of people. Very few are thinking as big as Khosla, a former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who explained his philosophy of investing to a group of entrepreneurs in Seattle last fall.
“My philosophy in life is I don’t mind failing in trying new things. But it better be relevant if we succeed,” Khosla said at the time.
That sort of mentality appealed to Forrest who spent about eight hours talking with Khosla about the role and the firm’s approach to company building.
“I was just impressed with how big he thinks,” said Forrest, who previously lived in San Francisco for a short time while working for MongoMusic prior to its sale to Microsoft.
In his new role at Khosla Ventures, the 38-year-old will scout potential investments for the firm in the areas of connected hardware devices and Internet technologies.
Forrest said he remains committed to being plugged in to Seattle’s startup scene, adding that he’s looking forward to “strengthening the San Francisco-Seattle ties.”
“I plan on being in Seattle quite a bit, and even though I haven’t started working for Khosla officially, I’ve started trying to meet companies under that umbrella while I am still up here,” he said. “I am definitely going to be up here, and looking.”