R-Zero just celebrated its first birthday and looking back we had an incredible year.

In the 12-months, we have stood up a company, hired a world-class team, released an industry-leading piece of hardware, and signed a term sheet to fully fund our business plan. That’s the result of many factors, including extraordinarily hard work by every member of our team, but there’s no way we could have come anywhere close to that result without our board of directors.

For entrepreneurs, assembling a board is incredibly important. In an era where there’s nearly limitless capital for strong teams and good ideas…

Since co-founding Tenaya Capital in 2009, I’ve had the opportunity to invest in startups like Qunar, Eventbrite, and Lyft — companies that have transformed entire sectors and with them, our daily lives.

But as I entered my 40s and began to think more about my impact on the world, the “disruptor” label lost some of its luster. Yes, many of the companies I’ve worked with also bring societal benefits; ride-sharing can reduce GHG emissions or help increase access to transportation in areas with poor public transit. …

Trying to find sleepy old industries to disrupt? A great way to identify them is by looking at the amount of money, as a percentage of sales, they spend advertising their undifferentiated commodity products. Case in point: we sell our UV-C disinfection system, Arc, to a large number of professional sports organizations and a number of them have told us we can’t mention them publicly because our chemical-based competitors pay huge sums of money to be the “official disinfectant” of their team.

I view this as a good thing. These more than 100-year-old companies spend anywhere from 6–10x more on…

For 20 years, I’ve been investing in startups. It’s no revelation to me — or anyone else — that startups are hard and require immense sacrifices from their founders. But, one year into being a startup co-founder, I have to admit it is even more all-consuming than I ever imagined.

The idea for R-Zero was born in the earliest days of the pandemic. 9/11 changed so many aspects of our society, I recalled at the time — we formed the department of homeland security, hired 14k TSA agents and to this day you can’t wear your shoes or carry a…

Ben Boyer

Husband, father and dog-loving, investor and technology executive.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store