A talk with Silicon Valley influencers: Cohler, Horowitz, Moskovitz & Rosenstein

Here at Asana, we regularly schedule time for knowledge sharing.  We have bi-weekly TGIF presentations from team members to share expertise, regular learning lunches on topics ranging from public relations to single-malt scotch, and a formal peer mentorship program.  We’ve naturally found ourselves eager to share and invest in these learning opportunities for a wider audience.

This Tuesday, we did just that for more than one hundred current Bay Area interns, who we invited into Asana’s new expanded HQ for an evening with four of Silicon Valley’s wisest veterans: our own co-founders Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz; Benchmark Capital’s Matt Cohler; and Ben Horowitz of A16Z renown.

We wanted to know what was on the students minds as they head back to campus and contemplate their eventual career moves — from founding their own ventures, joining a start-up or going to work for the Valley’s best public companies — and be able to provide quality, sound perspectives to help them on their journey. We solicited questions from each attendee and narrowed down the list from 133 questions to 30 (most were great, so a formidable task).  A few central themes began to emerge from the pile.  The interns, it seemed, were collectively looking for advice on decision making, leadership, motivation, and success.

Top Questions

“Do you have a life philosophy or guiding framework for making decisions? If so, what is it?”

“Of the successful startups that you’ve been involved with, what have been the most universal, yet not obvious, characteristics that you’ve observed?”

“How do you know when a startup will be successful? How do you know when to call it quits and work on something else?”

As you can imagine, the discussion provided multitudes of advice, tangible takeaways, and important perspectives for the current class of young technology talent.


As someone who works to build and grow the Asana team, I’m continually impressed with our investment in people, and was personally motivated to organize this event to showcase Dustin and Justin’s emphasis on mentorship.   We value and encourage educational opportunity and promote personal growth for our employees, and on Tuesday night this was especially apparent.

Samvit, one of our current interns, summarized it to me well:

“Having access to extremely successful visionaries — and being able to learn from their collective experience — is something that most people normally don’t get to do. The event was a reflection of what we’re learning inside Asana everyday.”

Stay tuned for the full video of Tuesday night’s Q&A.  These four inspire while they recall their successes and failures as key players in some of the most influential companies in the world.  To be part of culture that encourages and facilitates this type of mentorship and learning on a day to day basis, join our team.


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