Evan Nisselson isn’t just a venture capitalist. He’s a modern day Renaissance man. Part-digital media expert, part-professional photographer, Evan started making pictures with a Nikon FM at the age of 13 and has been working in visual technology ever since.
Nowadays, Evan’s main focus is LDV Capital. It’s a venture fund that invests in people at the vanguard of visual technology. Together, its network of entrepreneurs are making it easier than ever for people to create, analyze, distribute, and monetize visual content. LDV’s portfolio companies span a vast number of subfields, including computer vision, machine learning, photography, video, augmented reality, mapping, and artificial intelligence.
Evan spends most of his time helping these companies realize their technological ambitions. But that hasn’t curtailed his own technological output. Using Crew as his own personal technology department, Evan has transformed LDV Capital into a venture fund that doesn’t merely invest in technology, but that also creates technology to benefit its portfolio and community of entrepreneurs.
Devs on demand
“All businesses large and small have various technical needs from building apps, to websites, to internal tools, but most don’t have internal teams to solve those needs,” explains Evan.
“Over my 18 years as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, NYC, and Europe, I have worked with many different independent freelance designers and developers. And one of the constant pain points was how long it took to find the right people.”
By vetting each potential collaborator through his network, Evan made sure his projects would be done reliably and at a high-level of quality. However, the process was often intense, time-consuming, and redundant.
Hence why Evan became an investor in Crew: He realized that much of the tedium involved in starting a project could be avoided, since Crew provides him with access to a network of pre-vetted professionals, ready to start working at a moment’s notice.
And so it begins
His first project involved a rehaul of LDV Capital’s website. Instead of embarking on a hiring odyssey, Evan submitted his project to the Crew community and began working with Reuben (a talented front-end developer from Berlin) in less than a week. The duo was hand-matched by Crew’s support team, who knew the two would have good chemistry off the bat.
“I started working with Evan on a small project that he’d put up on Crew… he’s a really smart and joyful guy who’s really good at focusing in on details and thinking ahead.”
Reuben would go on to work with Evan on a variety of projects: pitch decks, a website for his LDV Vision Summit, and even a community news site called LDV Vision News, which lets people share and discuss exciting advances in the visual technology ecosystem.
It was a much more ambitious project than the previous ones Evan had sent through Crew, but there were no reservations about it. Explains Reuben, “we trusted each other.”
It was as simple setting up some Trello boards with ideas and deliverables, then letting Rueban run wild. The site was delivered on time and proved easy-to-maintain. And when Evan thought of new features he knew where to go: “If I need to make changes to any project or build a new tool, I know I can go to Crew and find the right solution… With Crew I can have a virtual creative and technical team for any project without having to have a technical team full-time on staff.”
Unsurprisingly, the social news site was a hit, and Evan has since used Crew to build another social tool, this time with Crew developer Jaka and his team. Together, Evan and Jaka built an invite-only platform for the LDV Community called Pong.
Pong lets LDV’s 580+ members submit, track, and respond to “asks”. Members can ask for business advice, request introductions to potential hires or partners, while also gaining access to offline networking opportunities through monthly community dinners. By making it easier to help fellow entrepreneurs, Pong helps strengthen the ties between LDV Community members—both on the court, and off.
Your personal network is waiting for you
Ask anyone who has worked with freelancers before, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Building good working relationships is incredibly hard.
“You have to research, interview, do reference checks, figure out your work-flow, and how to work together,” notes Evan. But with access to Crew’s pre-vetted community and project support system, less time is spent hustling to find and manage freelancers, and more time is freed up to focus on the fun part: Building good products.
To Evan, that’s the value of Crew: “It’s in the peace of mind.”
Ready to build your own rockstar team of designers and developers? Get in touch and we’ll connect you with the best, just like we did for Evan.
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