I’m James, an angel investor, founder, podcaster, and general startup-helper living in San Francisco, California with my wife, our daughter, and our dachshund, Mr. Wendell.
Since my first paying job at 14 repairing computers, I’ve worked in and around technology, followed by working in the development and poverty-alleviation world in South Africa, and then back in tech with my own startups (with lots of wins and lots of losses).
Inc, Forbes, and Time Magazine have included me in their “30 Under 30” lists, and over the years, I’ve been invited to speak at places like Harvard Business School, Stanford, Y Combinator, TechCrunch Disrupt, SXSW, the World Bank, and others — all with audiences much smarter than myself.
I’ve started a few companies, sold one (Tilt; acquired by Airbnb, where at 30, I was the youngest executive on the staff), have invested in a few multi-billion dollar ones that I didn’t start, and advised even more — I also host a podcast focused on the inner journey of founding, leading, and creating called “Below the Line with James Beshara” that NY Times bestselling author, Eric Ries, has called “the most exciting new podcast in the startup world” that you can check out here.
This personal site is a partial story of “the above the line” version of me; listen to the intro episode of the podcast for the other part of the story.
Read my first post if you’d like to learn more about why I began writing essays at the intersection of technology, philosophy, and humanity on this site and others.
One last thing… With friends, I’m known to accidentally adopt words as my own, when they ironically start out as poking fun at those that use the words seriously, especially here in California (examples would be “dope” “chill” or “stoked” or calling people by their non-God-given names like “his holy dankness”). I have found this fun and playful quirk happens to be an effective strategy for how to form points of view as well… start by adopting a seemingly foreign or absurd view (as opposed to digging your heals into your current ones), entertain that seemingly foreign or absurd view for a while — and then see if it fits better than the original view over time.