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Lawrence Chu, a Partner at Goodwin Procter LLP in San Francisco, has just joined Switch Video’s Advisory Board! Larry has been a friend and Switch Video supporter for so long that the new collaboration is making the whole team very excited. As a lawyer living in Silicon Valley–the epicentre of innovation–Larry counsels leading private equity funds with a focus on technology, including Silver Lake Partners, Francisco Partners and The Gores Group. His worldly expertise and ability to advise in both strategic and legal matters on M&A, joint venture, recapitalizations and other significant corporate transactions to some of the world’s leading technology companies, including Google, LinkedIn, McAfee, Informatica, Amobee and Skype make Larry one of the best in his business. Over the course of his career, he has advised on transactions over a broad range of industries having a total value of over $80 billion. In celebration of him joining our advisory board, we asked him a few questions regarding all things Switch! Check out the interview:
How did you first learn about Switch? What did you first think when you saw Switch’s videos?
I learned about Switch when I met Andrew Angus at a bar in San Francisco while I was meeting another entrepreneur, friend and fellow-Canadian who was in town for a visit. I’m a naturally curious person; and also always very excited to meet Canadian entrepreneurs and learn about the cool things that are happening in Canada, so I was immediately intrigued by what Switch was doing and trying to find out what differentiated the company. Although Andrew is quiet and unassuming, it immediately became apparent to me that he is quietly analytical and strategic, and cares deeply about his business. This is clear in Switch’s videos – they’re not only well written and thoughtful, they are the result of the application of not only good creative process but brain science. I immediately thought their work was quite impactful and attention grabbing.
Why did you want to be on the advisory board? What drew you to want to help?
I love to bring my extensive network to bear to help projects that I believe in. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to be able to be part of the strategic direction of an emerging companies. It’s why I practice law in the geography that I do – the Valley offers unprecedented opportunities to be not just a lawyer, but a strategic advisor. I believe in Andrew and I believe in his vision for the company – to find new and innovative ways to utilize what they have learned in crafting this great process for producing explainer videos into something much bigger. And the way that he thinks about how to succeed… I believe the Switch team can do it. I also like the way that the business combines creativity and analytics. I like companies like that because the two sides of my brain are about equal, I would say. I’ve always tried to find other outlets for that right side of my brain. Helping businesses solve problems and make creative connections, especially businesses like these, give me that opportunity. And, of course, Switch is Canadian!
What do you bring to the table? How do you plan to help Switch?
I work in the epicenter of innovation – Silicon Valley. And what I like about it is that it always keeps you guessing; pushing frontiers. I plan to help Switch think a few moves ahead in terms of its business model and where it wants to grow to. And I plan on helping them get introduced to the right folks and plug into the right network not only to do that but to grow their client base. I think that I bring interesting and new perspectives on all of this. I like to be a sounding board and bounce ideas off of the Switch folks also.
What are 3 of your favorite videos?
Fung Capital, The C100 and Rypple – in that order! I particularly like the Fung Capital Video because of the way that the animation is done – not only are the drawings incredible and set the “right amount of seriousness”, but the flow of the video really gives you a sense of the extent of Fund Capital’s value-add on the supply relationships and that they can really “accelerate” a portfolio company’s growth in that regard and beyond.
In 3 years where would you like to see Switch?
As a billion-dollar multi-faceted company – that is not just a consulting or services company; but perhaps a platform, or technology company, or a big data company too!