Jed Leidheiser’s fascination with investing began when he placed second in a stock-picking contest while he was in 5th grade. He knew little then but became enamored with how drastically the numbers in the Wall Street Journal could change from day-to-day and month-to-month. At 16 years old, he opened a Roth IRA with only $100. That was in 1999, so he buckled in with his hands held high for the roller coaster education that followed.
Now, Jed is an enterprise VC and Partner at March Capital Partners. He’s also a New Yorker living in L.A. and a big outdoorsy guy. Here, Jed talks to us about his favorite weekend activities, travel, lunch spots, and mezcal mules! It’s not all about venture, but the superstars behind it – enjoy your 24 hours with Jed!
Religiously and like clockwork, I wake every morning at around 6:00 a.m. I typically work out in the mornings, so I will make a smoothie, glance at my email and calendar, then head off to the gym. I don’t like notifications to distract me, so my Apple Watch has all the alerts switched off, and I put my phone in a locker. When I am at the gym, I sweat to nineties rap or electronica in my AirPods. I love that type of energy when I am doing cardio. I start with either the stair climber or the vertical climber, for about 20 minutes. Both machines are great for cardio and endurance, with functional use in backpacking. I finish with 40 minutes of weight lifting and stretching, for a total of one hour at the gym.
Occasionally, or on weekends, I’ll hike in the Santa Monica mountains instead. I am a huge outdoorsman with the badges of an Eagle Scout and a photo atop Kilimanjaro to prove it. I can’t get enough of it; I even dragged my wife on our honeymoon to do a sunrise hike of “Mt Doom” in New Zealand at 2:30 a.m. Being in the outdoors – whether hiking, skiing, or near the water – is absolutely my version of meditation.
I usually go to the Equinox in Marina Del Rey, and it’s so close that I head home after to rinse off. Do you know what works better than coffee to wake you up in the morning? A 30-second cold water rinse at the end of your shower – try it! Of course, I would never not have my daily cup of coffee, but the two in tandem really does wonders. I love making my own cold brew concentrate, mixed with coconut water – so I am hydrated, caffeinated, and ready for work!
I usually get to the office around 8:30 a.m. On the drive, I listen to podcasts. I’m really into Exponent by Ben Thompson right now. And of course, I’ll occasionally hear from other investors on 20 Minute VC or listen to a long-form book on Audible. Once I am at the office, I check in with my admin, the team, and then strive for inbox zero – which is never a sure thing.
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
The bulk of my day is mash-up of meetings with startup founders and other investors, alongside work for my portfolio companies and ongoing research projects. There’s also always an email or two from someone trying to get into VC. If they make a real effort at connecting and at being specific, then I always take the call – I remember what it was like when I was in that position, and I find that I learn a thing or two myself.
One of the biggest challenges in this industry is balancing the constant meetings and emails alongside the need to do research and develop your own opinion outside the herd. It is an industry with a long feedback loop and increasing specialization. To help with this, almost every day, I’ll block out at least an hour to do work that’s not short-term oriented. Think “important but not urgent.” I will shut off my email for that time and do deep-work to research new market spaces, or to noodle a strategic issue facing one of my portfolio companies.
At some point during my day, I’ll also peruse blogs or periodicals. The most underrated mainstream publication is The Atlantic. However, one of the best blogs I read is Tren Griffin’s 25iq. He will rigorously research an investor or executive, and he’ll enumerate the top learnings from that person through their speeches, writings, and personal observations. I’ll also check out New Stack if I’m feeling technical or skim sell-side research to get a gauge of the public markets.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
For lunch, I’ll always avoid the noon hour. Most likely, I head out at 1 p.m. Now, where I eat, obviously is dependent on where I am. When in L.A., my top four are Mendocino, Ninjin, Tocaya, and Flower Child. Like any good Angeleno, I drink my fair share of kombucha, eat a lot of kale, and always add avocado – even on pizza. For a quick lunch in S.F., I’ll do Uno Dos Tacos or eat hot chicken at The Bird. For an important meeting, Pabu or the Angler.
I like to use the lunch hour to take meetings with a founder or a colleague, but it really depends on the day. Sometimes I just squeeze in a salad while catching up on sports commentary on UVA basketball or the LA Rams with The Athletic.
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
The rest of my day is a combination of a few things. I am always meeting with founders I find interesting, companies we’re actively evaluating for a potential investment or internal meetings with the team. We are building a culture and a franchise here at March Capital, so I always enjoy learning from my colleagues and seeing where I can help.
Every day is different, and that’s especially true when traveling. I typically go up to S.F. or to NYC to scout new startups, take board meetings, and attend conferences. For enterprise technology, S.F. and NYC are still the hotspots of startups and corporate buyers (although shout-out to my #LongLA founders). That means I’ll miss Bodega and Rose Cafe while on the road, but I’ll get to enjoy the amazing brew of Bluestone Lane, which is popping up wherever I travel.
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
After six, there is always a variety of VC and startup events, which is an excellent perk of the business we are in! There is a blurry line between personal and professional in the world of VC, so two nights a week, I take advantage of these events. I grab a Vida Mezcal Mule, or maybe even a Chocolate Porter Oatmeal Stout, and enjoy the conversations. I’m always learning from founders and technologists. The best events are always about the people… but if I can have a view of the ocean… all the better.
The other three nights a week, I indulge in non-work-related hobbies such as cooking. This is when my quality time happens. My wife is vegan, and we have begun to cook together. Surprisingly, vegan options are now widespread, and they taste amazing. Our current specialty is jackfruit mushroom tacos with dairy-free cheese, homemade salsa, and of course, fresh avocado – it doesn’t get any better!
Alternately, with my wife or with friends, we’ll walk down Abbot Kinney and feel the nighttime vibe we remember when living back in the West Village of NYC. Or we’ll watch stand-up comics at the Comedy Store or Largo to decompress.
10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
The last hour before bed, I have a strict no-screen rule. During this time, I read to wind down for the night. I will say there’s one “secret” I learned from Naval Ravikant that has made me a 10x more consistent reader – don’t be afraid of missing out, and certainly do not feel guilty, to skim certain chapters or to put down a book halfway through. It still counts as reading, and you’ve likely captured 80% of the value, anyway!
Currently, I am reading Elad Gil’s High Growth Handbook, which is, by all means, a reference book and one that can be digested in non-sequential chapters. Elad’s experience as an operator and his clarity of delivery both shine through. The second book I am reading is different but equally as brilliant – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. It’s part Navy Seal war stories and part taking pride in ownership of the seemingly inconsequential, which has a huge psychological impact for both yourself and your team.
So, that’s kind of my routine in a nutshell. If, by the time I close my eyes, I both learned something new and helped someone out, then I consider the day a success.