The Schlumpy Guy Who Convinced Silicon Valley That Jessica Alba Was Sexy

It doesn't take washboard abs to turn on VCs.
jessica alba 2011 The Schlumpy Guy Who Convinced Silicon Valley That Jessica Alba Was Sexy

Sexy? (Wikipedia)

There’s no accounting for differences of taste or opinion. Some people see celebrity-founded ecommerce startups as evidence of an inflating bubble. Others are busy raising money from rap stars’ managers. Some people go for Jessica Alba’s girl-next-door looks and sex-symbol status. Others prefer “middle-aged, slightly out-of-share Korean.”

That last according to The New York Times profile of Brian Lee, a Silicon Valley fixture who’s made his name helping stars launch businesses focusing on the consumer web. Mr. Lee got his start more than a decade ago by partnering with former O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro on LegalZoom. His current projects include Kim Karshashian’s subscription service, ShoeDazzle—which raised $66 million in venture capital, but appears to be flailing—and Ms. Alba’s The Honest Company, which sells eco-friendly baby products.

Mr. Lee’s secret to wedding entertainment and technology players? According to Jeremy Liew, managing partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, an investor in ShoeDazzle, it’s one part Hollywood connections, one part force of personality. “He’s a middle-aged, slightly out-of-shape Korean guy who got Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian to start companies with him,” Mr. Liew told the Times.

According to Ms. Alba, her partner has a certain appeal for tech investors. “I was just turned down by so many people because it wasn’t sexy,” she told the Times.

Then she started showing up to meetings with Mr. Lee.

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