Adam Emrich

Adam-SmallI met Adam when he called me through the Brown University rugby community in hopes of raising money for his start up. Something about his earnestness lead to a few additional calls though it was clear that Coburn Ventures wasn’t a match for what he hoped to achieve.

I loved that he was starting a company and experiencing the highs and lows and the inspiration and discouragement all at the age of 23! I envied the experiences that he was generating at such an age!

And he is about the kindest individual you might hope to ever meet.

So eventually his curiosity in what we did – study patterns of monumental change to be in position to make high conviction investment decisions – began to grow significantly. I set up more time to talk. We began to be interested in hiring a young analyst and had the thought that hiring someone with nontraditional skills (nontraditional for the “traditional” though often malfunctioning investment world) would be a great idea. Adam joined in November 2010.

Here is how Adam previously described his background on our website.

“Prior to Coburn Ventures Adam founded a health and wellness software company which to date has reached more than 10,000 people. I graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s in Entrepreneurship.” He might have added that he grew up in Westchester, NY and attended Hackley where my wife Kelly taught. Also: Adam was born in Malaysia and lived in Thailand before moving to NY at age 7. He has an older brother. His mom is an awesome cook among many things and she and her husband have hosted all of us a couple times for dinner.


This is all true…

…but in addition to his entrepreneurial experience we learned that we had a gem on our hands in Adam’s incredible natural raw capability as a cultural anthropologist. This capacity has proven a huge benefit to us in developing thinking on all sorts of products and skills and tools while seamlessly integrating our own array of patterns.  He has broken down a number of complex books (e.g. Understanding Media, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) into very very useful pieces in our kit. His daily internal notes using these skills are must-reads for all of us.

And during the past year his ability as a business analyst digging into a wide set of companies in many industries and geographies has taken off which is a significant accomplishment given that he started with virtually zero financial training.

Adam is an avid learner and is proud that this manifested at an early age as “I read myself into glasses by third grade.”

He is an avid fan of sci-fi and a number of sports, rooting for Liverpool FC, the NY Giants, the Yankees, and the Knicks…Well he WAS a Knicks fan but living in Brooklyn seems to have traded them in for the now hometown Nets.

On Mondays he is continually relaying stories of weekends filled with pickup soccer games (thru Meetup) and dodge ball and a gazillion other always interesting endeavors.

…Pip, January, 2013

A Favorite Quote:

“If we are in a balloon over an abyss, let us at least value the balloon. If night is all around, then what light we have is precious. If there is no life to be seen in the great emptiness, our companions are to be cherished; so are we ourselves.” – Lionel Trilling