Friends of Ben: Greg Lahann

Network: Ben Casnocha > Mike Patterson > Greg Lahann

Google: Greg Lahann

Greg is part of the same network that my first Friends of Ben profile, Carol Rutlen, is in. Greg Lahann is a partner at Novus Ventures, a VC firm in Cupertino with $150 M under management.

I didn’t really get to know Greg until this past summer. I had met him originally a few years ago but only stayed in touch via email. One day he responded to my general Comcate update with “Hey Ben – good to hear from you, glad all is going well, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” I made a point to hook up with him come summer time.

We got sushi together at a place near his office and I immediately felt the warmth and kindness from him that i had heard about. As I gave him an update on things and as he filled me in on what he had been doing for the last year or so, I couldn’t help thinking “Why didn’t I stay in touch with Greg earlier on?” Greg probed, asked tough questions, and offered good feedback.

He also did something that I always listen for – speaking in the “we.” Even though we hadn’t talked for more than a year, he was asking things like “So how many clients do we have? Where do we need to go to get to the next stage?” When I work with advisors and partners – or even a new employee – an easy way to gauge how they feel about their affiliation with the company is whether they say “What you guys really need to think about…” versus “We should brainstorm about…”

After our lunch – a lunch in which I recall really opening up, cracking jokes about the NBA and his not eating breakfast – Greg introduced me to the CEO of Insevo a firm focused on GUI integrations btwn software systems. Not only did he introduce us, but he came to my lunch with the Insevo folks and helped facilitate and add his two cents.

I can’t wait to stay in touch with Greg, pick his brain, and find out how his warm people skills can emit such a friendly atmosphere.

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