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Featured on Mar 14, 2011

Caroline Lau

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish. -The Whole Earth Catalog"


I'm Director of Operations at, a new way to discover fine art. I love finding solutions to the unique challenges startups face each day, and exploring the places where technology and culture intersect.

  • Title: Director of Operations at
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Flatiron District, Tribeca
  • Contact: @carolinelau, Caroline Lau

What is the coolest or most interesting thing that you have run into recently here in New York?

I eat a lot of brunches, but the one I enjoyed at M. Wells in Long Island City made me rethink the meal entirely. The experience was best articulated by my hungry friend who exclaimed mid-bite, “But this doesn’t make any sense!”

Few diners I know of serve bay scallop ceviche alongside an egg sausage sandwich, escargots, and a perfectly executed doughnut. But the folks at M. Wells pull it off with a lot of wit and not a trace of pretense. This was one of the quirkiest, most surprising meals I’ve had in a while.

What or who inspires you personally?

I’m continually energized by my colleagues at and other entrepreneurs within the startup community. Day in and day out, these people give it, give it all, and give it now. And even when they’re busy (oh, you know, making things, changing the world), they’re always willing to share their knowledge freely. Startup karma is a magical thing.

And then there is New York City itself. Whenever I feel uninspired, I’ll hit the streets with no particular destination in mind, letting my feet be my guide. There are, of course, the sights and goings on about town. But it’s the spirit of this place -- the hustle, the happenstance -- that never fails to set me in motion.

Your position at as Director of Operations seems quite different from your previous two roles at Give Real and Rosetta.  What are some of the challenges that you have had to tackle that you’ve never had experienced before?

Quite different, but each experience prepared me for the next. Fred Wilson’s recent post about risk and reward really resonates with me. Few things in my professional career have worked out as expected -- and that’s been a very good thing.

What I love most about working at is being part of a team of talented individuals whose experiences truly span the arts and technology. This presents the exciting challenge of cultivating a company culture thatembraces a diversity of ideas and close collaboration.

I spend much of my time thinking about how our motley crew of art professionals and engineers can more effectively work together towards common goals: How can we structure weekly meetings that align and inspire? Which project management tools work best for an interdisciplinary team? How do we sustain our distinctive culture as we grow?

Director of Operations