Boston VC Firm Invests in Working Mother

Venture capitalists are all about the money. I say this in a good way: they do the math. So when the founder of the boston venture capital firm OpenView Scott Maxwell lays his bets on a working mother — a story reported by Dylan Martin of BostInno —  I pay attention.

Devon McDonald Open View Ventures
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Source: BostonInno http://bit.ly/2yXsvHr

The Maxwell Curve

Boston VC Scott Maxwell is known for the Maxwell Curve. It depicts how Scrum team productivity actually decreases as teams work longer hours in a given week. Clearly, Maxwell is a guy who obsesses about the relationship between productivity and profitability. It makes total sense when you examine his actions supporting a woman partner at his firm.

Maxwell Curve. Courtesy Jeff Sutherland. http://bit.ly/2jmsqI9
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Maxwell Curve. Courtesy Jeff Sutherland. http://bit.ly/2jmsqI9

Here’s where it gets interesting . . .

Smack dab in the middle of Devon’s second maternity — about the time many working mothers at the partner level feel unrelenting pressure to cut their family leave short — founder Scott Maxwell advised her to stay the course. He pointed out that she had an opportunity to “be the example” for the other women in her wake. Devon McDonald remembers him saying:

“You have to be the example and show that family comes first . . . so that future women who have babies here don’t feel the pressure that they can completely kill themselves, particularly when they’re adjusting to this major life change.”

I’ve never met Scott.  After this, I’d enjoy having a conversation about his decision to invest in Devon in this way. The Maxwell Curve tells me he is not simply doing it to be a nice guy. He’s doing it because he believes he’ll enjoy a significant return on his investment.

It appears that strategy is working. We wrote this post a couple of years ago. If you check Devon McDonald’s LinkedIn profile, she remains a valued partner at OpenView Venture. OpenView’s website reports that she “sits on the firm’s investment committee and oversees OpenView’s Growth team, a group of Research, Sales and Marketing Strategists responsible for helping its portfolio companies acquire more customers and scale at an accelerated rate.”

Not bad, Devon. Keep on raising the bar. You’re killing it.

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