Hey everyone, it’s Michael Franklin, Strategic Advisor at Day One. We are incredibly excited to welcome Terri Burns to the team as a Senior Strategic Advisor and I had the chance to sit down with her to discuss why she’s joining our team.
Michael: Terri, your resume speaks for itself, but can you talk a little bit about your journey and some formative experiences in your career so far?
Terri: I’ve been fortunate to have a robust and dynamic career thus far. I’ve been able to focus my efforts on supporting and collaborating with amazing business and technology leaders. Most recently, I was the youngest-ever partner at Google Ventures investing in early-stage startups. In addition to that, I’ve spent a lot of time doing executive coaching with various companies through my coaching business (the Coaching Corner), volunteering on a number of boards including my alma mater, NYU, and of course, advising innovative companies!
Michael: Speaking of advising leaders, what attracted you to join the Day One team?
Terri: I met David Meadvin, Day One’s CEO, at Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Tech conference in 2022, which I help co-chair every year. We immediately hit it off because his vision for reimagining corporate strategy overlapped with the way I like to support companies as a venture capital investor. The CEOs of tomorrow are going to look and feel a lot different from the CEOs of the last few decades. Day One understands and celebrates this reality, and works especially hard to provide valuable and meaningful counsel to leaders in light of this new world.
Michael: Advising CEOs and other leaders often involves giving advice for the entirety of an organization. What does corporate strategy mean to you?
Terri: Corporate strategy is the set of decisions that guide a company in achieving its objectives and fulfilling its mission. To me, this really means listening deeply, being radically candid, thinking outside the box, and of course, some good old hands-on operational support to the teams that need it.
Michael: You often use the phrase “radically candid,” emphasizing the importance of transparency. Can you share a story about a time when you’ve been “radically candid?"
Terri: Well I got the term from Kim Scott, who wrote the bestselling book Radical Candor. Kim and her team teach the radical candor method to all different types of companies, and I have the pleasure of working with them through my coaching business. As an investor, one of my most-common examples of being radically candid is saying “no” to a company after an investment pitch. The answer to most companies is a “no,” and doing so clearly, quickly, and with grace is something I pride myself on.
Michael: What do you hope to achieve with Day One?
Terri: Day One is built to help leaders navigate our increasingly complex world. My goal as a senior strategic advisor is to help Day One accomplish this goal as clearly and efficiently as possible.
Michael: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to any current or aspiring CEO?
Terri: Companies today face more complexities than ever before. It can be agonizingly challenging to build a talented team that successfully manages the many different moving parts of a business. The advice I always give in times of chaos is to go back to basics: if you’re building a product, then focus your time and capital on building the most elegant product you can imagine. If you’re providing a service, do so in a way that provides unprecedented value. And continuously innovate on how you do it all.
Michael: Before we end, I want to ask a couple of very important questions. First, What’s your favorite TV show at the moment?
Terri: It’s so sad, I watch plenty of TV but recently nothing actually that great🤣. I’m not sure I have a favorite. I have read a few awesome books lately: Big Swiss by Jen Beagin, Yellowface by R. F. Kuang, and Piranesi by Susanna Clarke were some recent reads that filled my craving for captivating fictional worlds!
Michael: Finally, maybe the most important question I’ve asked as we head into a new season: What’s your Autumn comfort food?
Terri: Apple pie! My forever favorite.
Michael: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me. I’m thrilled to have you as a colleague and a member of our team.
Terri: Thank you, and me too!
Read more about Terri Burns joining Day One here.
And get in touch with us if you have any questions about working with Terri and the rest of our team.