Meet the Boss: Toro Orero, managing partner, DDF.Capital

Toro Orero

Toro Orero will be a speaker at the 2017 African Diaspora Investment Symposium.

1. What was your first job?

A “new media” company I started in my second year of university. We focused on video production, 3D animation and game design.

2. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?

None actually, I rarely worry. Plus I’m lucky to have a great team.

3. Who has had the biggest impact on your career?

Tim Draper (Founder DFJ, Draper Associates, and Draper University).

4. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

“If you have no idea how something is supposed to be done, I guarantee you, you’ll be disruptive.”

5. The top reasons why you have been successful in business?

Not paying attention to the industry, trends, news, etc. Staying away gives me fresh perspectives that make me an outsider and automatically forces my brain to constantly see things differently by default.

6. Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership?

Starting and leading a small group of already very busy people where they volunteer their time and skill for free, and the group doesn’t make a profit. This teaches key lessons about what motivates people beyond money/physical rewards, how purpose and passion can be the strongest assets of an organisation, how to keep the best people in your team without having anything extra to offer them, mental toughness and hustle, how to deal with frustration, and how to fundraise from whoever and wherever.

7. How do you relax?

Instagram memes and funny videos, chess, going to the movies, and travel adventures.

8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?

Eleven in the morning – because I’m such a night owl and will usually go to bed at 3am and be up at 9am.

9. Your favourite job interview question?

“What do you like and don’t like about your partner (girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/best friend) and what do you think he or she likes and doesn’t like about you?” There’s usually no right or wrong answer but the answer provided gives me deep insights into the lenses through which that person sees his/her world.

10. What is your message to Africa’s aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs?

Six tips:

  • Think big, and attempt to solve big global “impossible” problems that push humanity forward.
  • Disobey your brain and follow your soul.
  • Move in the direction of your fears.
  • Satisfy your curiosity, always, not matter what, and no matter who says otherwise.
  • Don’t fundraise, instead: bootstrap, build, and grow.
  • Just do it, and do it now!

DDF.Capital (DraperDarkFlow) is a Silicon Valley-based VC fund that funds scaleable African start-ups.