Alfred Lin

Partner at Sequoia Capital

Working with founders from idea to IPO and beyond. Formerly an operator at Zappos, Tellme, and LinkExchange


Venture Capital


Why you should listen

Emigrating from Taiwan at the age of six, my parents moved me and my brother every few years to better school districts. I was always fascinated by businesses, how they operated and how to invest in them. In junior high, I tried to scale my lawn-mowing service—It didn’t even last a whole summer. In college, I bought whole pizzas and sold them by the slice, but I swear, it wasn’t predatory. Academically, I had honored my parents’ wishes to be a good student, especially in math and science. I even entered a Ph.D. program in statistics, but I found reading business cases more interesting. When Sequoia invested, I joined my college friend Tony Hsieh at his startup, LinkExchange. After we sold LinkExchange to Microsoft (and made Sequoia 17x in 17 months), we started Venture Frogs, which was both an incubator and a seed fund. Out of that came Tellme Networks, which I joined in 2001, and Zappos, which I joined in 2005.

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