Mike Maples Jr. has been on the Forbes "Midas List" since 2010 and was also named one of "8 Rising Stars" by Fortune Magazine. Before becoming a full-time investor, Maples was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent).
Some of Maple's investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv, ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Spiceworks, Okta and Demandforce. And he is known for coining the term "thunder lizards," which is a metaphor derived from Godzilla that describes the tiny number of truly exceptional companies that are wildly disruptive capitalist mutations.
He holds an engineering degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. His interests include calligraphy, cinematography and sporting clays.
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Facebook and Digg investors Ron Conway and Mike Maples unveil a surprising yardstick on what makes an entrepreneur's ideas a go or a no. Even though one venture might go under, the right executive could likely get another chance - provided they prove business savvy, flexibility, and an understanding that the nature of the business start-up is to morph.