Gary Herick

Startup Funding, Venture Capital & Innovative Blockchain Capital

A Private Equity Career Traded for Product

Why I Traded Private Equity for Product


Last year I marked my fifth year of working with private equity firm Better Capital and its portfolio companies. Today, however, I’m the Chief Product Officer of a small digital advertising startup, making difficult product decisions and helping the company to grow.

Private EquityThis is the story of why I traded private equity for product.

I spent my days at Better Capital working with private equity veteran Jon Moulton, and helping to acquire, turn around, and then sell companies. The companies in the Better Capital portfolio came from different industries, including metal parts manufacturers, software companies, and fashion retailers; in general they were all well established, often with a successful past, but had hit trouble usually because of a failure to adapt. Most of the companies were large, overly complex, and in need of modernising.

This was the situation at 130-year-old fashion house Jaeger, which I joined to help set and deliver its strategy for the next few years. Significant online growth and international expansion was part of the plan but first we needed some large technology projects to be completed.

The in-house IT team at Jaeger was not used to agile working practices or newer technologies (they were still running on-premise hardware) and had spent many years in maintenance mode. We partnered with more agile third-party technology companies, many of which were startups, and delivered projects including an omni-channel order management system and a cloud-based data-management and reporting system. In mid-2017 Jaeger’s brand was purchased by Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and having worked with the business for two years it felt like the right time to move on.

Read the full article from Sei Moon on