Lee Hower

I’m an investor, entrepreneur, and helper of technology startups. I’m currently a General Partner of NextView Ventures, which focuses on seed stage internet-enabled businesses. I co-founded NextView in 2010 with my partners Rob Go and David Beisel. I started in the VC business as a Principal at Point Judith Capital, an early-stage firm. I joined PJC in 2005 and served as a Principal at the firm through early 2010. During this time I co-led investments in FanIQ, Sittercity, and Multiply and sourced investments in Music Nation and NABsys. Prior to becoming a VC, I was a startup guy myself. I was part of the founding team of LinkedIn, and served as Director of Corporate Development from the company’s inception through our early growth phases. Before that I was an early employee at PayPal, and worked in product management and corporate development roles through the company’s IPO in 2002 and subsequent sale to eBay later that year. I went to college at UPenn and received degrees from both the School of Engineering and Wharton School of Business.

  • Blog

    Introducing Growth Guides – Practical Help for the Seed Stage

    We’re launching a series of platform initiatives here at NextView in 2014.  Today we’re pleased to announce the first in a series of Growth Guides. What’s a Growth Guide?  Well our focus here at NextView is helping exceptional seed stage companies get things off to the best possible start. Simply put these Growth Guides are […]


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    Alibaba S-1: How Alibaba Is Governed Like China’s Politburo

    One of the first things that caught my eye when I started reading the Alibaba Group S-1 was a section on page 7 of the filing regarding something called the “Alibaba Partnership”.  It quickly struck me that the Alibaba Group’s corporate governance in some ways mirrors China’s Politburo. Some context… like many startups, the founders of […]


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    Alibaba S-1: Sizing Up A Giant

    As I’m sure you’ve heard, Alibaba officially filed to go public yesterday.  I believe this may be the most anticipated tech IPO of all time… some may argue Facebook was a bigger deal, but Alibaba’s offering has been “in process” for a long time and may very well be the largest IPO ever both in […]


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    Entrepreneurial Success & Alchemy

    I watched the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley last night. Yes I know I’m several weeks behind at this point, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into this series (still not sure actually). FWIW I’m a big fan of Mike Judge’s films like Office Space and Idiocracy, and also enjoyed […]


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    Facebook Paid

    Like most folks in the tech ecosystem, I’m still slightly slack-jawed this morning by the announcement late yesterday that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for approximately $19 billion in total consideration.  There are so many remarkable aspects of this event… from the sheer size, to founder Jan Koum’s personal story, to the way it caught most […]


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    What TAM Really Means

    It’s widely known we VCs focus on just a couple of key dimensions when making our investment decisions:  team, market, product / technology, and investment parameters or “deal”.  While all of these parameters are loosely connected and there are many paths to “yes” at the end of the day market size is the prime reason […]


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    Revenue = Product Market Fit

    Most consumer web/mobile companies focus on user growth and usage early in the company’s lifecycle before shifting to monetization.  This is a logical thing to do… when we started LinkedIn, my mentor Reid Hoffman instilled a mantra of Growth –> Usage –> Revenue which still holds for many consumer companies.  This is especially true for […]


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    Change Collective: Helping Create A Better You

    Change Collective announced their seed round today, in conjunction with their broader launch of the company.  I thought I’d share a little of what makes us enthusiastic to partner with Ben, Derek, and their team to help them as they build their business. I first met Ben about 5-6 years ago. This was before we […]


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    Angel Investing: Know (What Motivates) Thyself

    I was recently talking with another member of LinkedIn’s founding team.  It’s been awhile since we worked together on a daily basis so a lot was just general catch up, but one of the primary reasons for our chat was that this person was starting to become a more active angel investor and was just […]


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    Putting Twitter’s IPO in Perspective

    As many of you know, in the past I’ve done a series of posts deconstructing the S-1s of VC-backed internet startups going public. A few years ago this was sort of a novelty… not that many startups were going public and not that many bloggers or mainstream journalists took the time or had familiarity with […]