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Alex Teng, Partner
Welcome the newest Partner at Fifty Years!
Today’s one of the biggest days since we started Fifty Years. Today’s the day Alex Teng becomes a Partner!
Alex has been our Chief of Staff for the last two years. During our CoS search, we talked to nearly 200 candidates. It got to the point where we started asking ourselves “have we set the bar too high?” And then we found Alex and knew we hadn’t. He was obviously the right person, both in terms of culture and skillset. After many conversations and referencing, we made Alex the offer and … he said no 😳
We got creative in solving some of his concerns (e.g., he just bought a house in Los Angeles and would need to relocate his family to San Francisco) and thought we were there and … he said no again 😵💫
We tell our portfolio founders that closing the best candidates often requires creative problem solving after getting an initial “no”, so we kept at it. We kept talking and problem solving. Knowing Alex was a huge fan of HBO’s Silicon Valley show, we called in the big guns.
And, finally, Alex said yes!
Alex now says that choice is “the best decision I ever made”. We feel the same way.
Over the last two years, Alex has embodied the Fifty Years values.
He puts our portfolio founders first in everything — whether it’s trudging through thousands of LinkedIn profiles to help fill a key role, or closing candidates (he’s helped close 7 out of 14 employees for one Fifty Years startup!), or physically helping build infrastructure on site.
Alex has a constant drive to level himself up. Every time a great book on entrepreneurship is mentioned in passing, within a couple weeks he’s bought and read it. He constantly asks “how can I do this better?”
Alex is relentlessly helpful. By the time you’ve started the question “Alex, can you help with—“ he’s already interrupted with a “yes!” Whether it’s project managing a major initiative to help a portfolio founder, jumping on a 20 hour flight to close a partnership, or sweeping the HQ floors before an event. He always puts the organization first and does what needs to get done.
Alex embodies the spirit of Silicon Valley hustle. Whether it’s jumping on a call with a potential hire at 10pm on a Friday night or dropping weekend plans to get something important done — Alex operates with incredibly urgency and speed. His response time to a portfolio founder or teammate that needs him is typically measured in minutes — regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
As a previous founder himself, Alex also brings a founder mentality to his work at Fifty Years. He steps up proactively to level up our organization and our teammates.
And finally, Alex is a walking Happy Warrior. If you’ve met him, you know what we mean. His laughter can be heard from blocks away. His optimism and positivity are simply contagious and inspire those around him.
In Fifty Years fashion, we thought sharing this news with Alex was a perfect opportunity to simultaneously have some fun. So we told Alex we needed to go for a walk “to talk about your performance”. We then explained to Alex all the things mentioned above that he’s been doing extremely well and then said “BUT — you knew there was a but coming…” (tense pause!) and followed it up with happy news of more responsibility and more carry. We then asked for his feedback on some website updates. We had secretly updated his title to Partner and his reaction to seeing it is classic Alex 😂
We can’t wait to see how Alex continues to grow and how he continues to contribute now that he’s graduated from Chief of Staff to Partner!
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