Friends of Ben: Trevor Traina

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From time to time I profile someone interesting in my Friends of Ben series. I saw Trevor today and it reminded me to do a post on him – he’s super successful, super nice, and a real influential in San Francisco.

By his last name, you may know Trevor as part of the Traina/Danielle Steele family. But in the Silicon Valley Trevor made his presence felt when he sold CompareNet to Microsoft in ’99. Since then, he’s been an active angel investor, director, software entrepreneur, and major philanthropist.

Besides having gone to my high school, what I find wonderful about Trevor is his genuine kindness.

When I first started doing sales pitches, I could always tell from the first second whether I was meeting with a guy who radiated kindness or if s/he had a harder shell to crack. It didn’t usually affect whether or not I closed the deal, but it certainly helped us establish a connection. Trevor is free of a shell – of eliteness, of arrogance, of "I’m too good for you" – that I sometimes encounter here in the Valley. He’s funny and goofy, and obviously very good at what he does.

Maybe one day I’ll convince him to start a blog, but in the meantime keep your eye out for Trevor’s wheelings and deelings in his companies StepUp, SchemaLogic, and all his non-profits like Haas and the fine art museums of SF.

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