For several months now Paul has been a Partner at Northzone, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, which he reached thanks to a brilliant and intense career developing outstanding digital companies such as Giphy and Aviary, among others. With a degree in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from IE in Madrid, Murphy has morphed into an investor, after his notable success as Co-founder and Executive Director of Dots, a mobile game studio with over 100 million players around the world.
Partner at Northzone
“I tend to do my best work, and am happiest, when I feel I’m adding genuine value and learning, so that’s what I tend to focus as opposed to my specific job”
Murphy defines his professional transition as “very natural” and the result of a great experience in a large company like Microsoft and, later, as founder and investor in successful emerging firms. “I tend to do my best work, and am happiest, when I feel I’m adding genuine value and learning, so that’s what I tend to focus as opposed to my specific job,” says Murphy. He claims he’s comfortable in a new role that he hopes to enjoy for a long time, “because I have lessons to share and I’m constantly learning.”
Murphy’s privileged vision for facilitating entrepreneurial takeoffs has already been clear in his stage as a partner in Betaworks, where he directed the group’s efforts to shape and invest in Giphy, now one of the world’s most popular websites, which consists of a search engine for animated GIF files. Previously, as chief operating officer, he had led the transformation of Aviary into mobile photo editing platform, something that led to the purchase of this platform by the giant Adobe.
At the Global MBA he was able to interact with companions from all over the world, who gave him a very international view on how to be a company executive. Knowledge that was a great inspiration and that he immediately applied at Microsoft, where he would reach the position of Chief of Staff for the President of Microsoft’s Business Division, after working in the London, Bangalore and Seattle offices.
Based on his professional experience in different countries and continents, Murphy feels that “there is no way to truly understand the markets you serve without experiencing them.”
“I think everyone should spend at least a year or two living and working outside their home country. I’ve found you experience culture in a very different way than you otherwise would in a quick business trip or taking a vacation.”
As an advisor and investor in many startups, Murphy says he has observed “many patterns that are repeated, not only at Dots and Giphy, but of the many failed startups I was part of as well.” From his new position at Northzone, this experience will allow him to concentrate his efforts as an investor on “transferring as much knowledge as possible to the founders I’m working with so they can build their company faster, with a few less mistakes.”
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