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Josh McFarland

Josh McFarland

Joshua McFarland is a venture capitalist, technology entrepreneur, and philanthropist based out of San Francisco, California. He is currently a Partner at the venture capital firm, Greylock Partners. He is well known for serving as Twitter's VP of Product after Twitter acquired his ad tech company TellApart for over $500 million in 2015. [1]


Josh McFarland graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with distinction in 1999. At Stanford, McFarland was a Mayfield Fellow.


In November 1999, Josh McFarland founded and served as the Chairman of MyTwoFrontTeeth.org, an organization dedicated to giving underprivileged children in the San Francisco Bay Area the opportunity to choose and receive toys during the holiday season.

In May 2007, MyTwoFrontTeeth.org merged with a larger non-profit called The Family Giving Tree with a similar mission to help children in the Bay Area. By merging, the organizations were able to reach more children in need during the holidays.


In June 2017, Josh McFarland became a partner at Greylock Partners. Two months later, McFarland announced his first investment made at Greylock in Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange and wallet. McFarland made the decision after meeting the company's Co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong a few months prior to the investment and analyzing the company. McFarland had been user of Coinbase since 2013 when he first bought Bitcoin. He decided to buy Bitcoin after a dinner with friends including Chamath Palihapitiya who explained his belief that Bitcoin would become the world's reserve currency. Shortly afterwards he made more investments in Bitcoin and after a bad experience with a US bank he closed his account in protest and put all of that money into Bitcoin. McFarland's later decision to invest in Coinbase came from huge potential he saw for the company as leader in the fast growing world of cryptocurrency and its strong reputation for following financial industry best practices by pursuing all necessary licenses and giving all users deposit insurance. He also believed in Brian Armstrong's leadership and the team behind the rapid growth of Coinbase.

Previously, Josh McFarland was the Vice President of Product at Twitter, a role he transitioned into following the acquisition of TellApart.

McFarland was the CEO of TellApart, which he and Mark Ayzenshtat the CTO founded in 2009 while Entrepreneurs in Residence at Greylock.

TellApart was an ad tech company which brought data analytics and predictive modeling to marketing. In 2015, Twitter acquired TellApart for more than $500M, the largest acquisition in Twitter’s history. At Twitter, McFarland's role expanded to encompass product leadership for all revenue generating lines of business including advertising, data services and customer support applications.

From July 2003 to August 2008, Josh McFarland was a Senior Business Product Manager at Google where he and Mark Ayzenshtat founded the Google AdWords API team. Today, this platform interacts with over half of the company’s total revenue and in 2008, won Google’s prestigious all-company EMG award.

Josh McFarland was a Senior Product Manager at the communications platform, Zaplet from February 2000 to July 2003.

During this time he and his co-workers developed a patented approach to storing, linking, and aggregating electronic messages.

McFarland began his career working as a Product Manager for Riffage Inc from June 1999 to January 2000.


Josh McFarland has a patent for "Methods and apparatus providing electronic messages that are linked and aggregated" (US 7130885B2), he co-authored the patent with Mala Chandra, Steven R. Evans, John Kruempelstaedter, and Kirpal Khalsa. The abstract of the patent:

A method for associating related electronic messages in computer storage.

A first transportable application is created and stored. User input requesting creation of a link from the first transportable application to another transportable application is received. User input that selects a second transportable application from among a plurality of previously created transportable applications is received. A link from the first transportable application to the second transportable application is created and stored. As a result, transportable application may be inter-related in complex message webs. The message webs may also be inter-related in message web rings. Links may be generated manually or automatically, based on context, workflow processes, or other known relationships among applications. Recipient lists and data may propagate among fields of linked transportable applications, directly or according to abstract business rules. Further, multiple-part electronic messages are disclosed. A graphical user interface of an electronic messaging system displays a message in the form of one or more header portions and one or more body portions. Each of the body portions has a selection region. While one body portion is visible at a given time, all the selection regions are continuously visible in the user interface to facilitate selection of any of the body portions at a particular time. Selecting a selection region of a non-displayed body portion causes a server to generate a refreshed user interface that includes the entirety of the selected body portion, and that hides the previously viewed body portion. As a result, a large amount of associated information may be combined in a single message in a way that is clearly organized and easily accessible.


Citation Linkrecode.netRecode: TellApart CEO Josh McFarland is leaving Twitter for VC firm Greylock
Mar 1, 2018, 6:13 AM
Citation Linkengineering.stanford.eduStanford Engineering: Josh McFarland: The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series
Mar 1, 2018, 6:15 AM
Citation Linkyoutube.comUCSF CDHDI: Joshua McFarland, Product, Twitter, w/ Tim Reha at Informed Health 2016 UCSF
Mar 2, 2018, 7:22 AM
Citation Linklinkedin.comJosh McFarland on LinkedIn
Mar 1, 2018, 6:20 AM
Citation Linkmytwofrontteeth.orgAbout page of MyTwoFrontTeeth.org
Mar 1, 2018, 6:45 AM
Citation Linkcharity-matters.comCharity Matters article about the merger of MyTwoFrontTeeth.org and The Family Giving Tree
Mar 1, 2018, 6:46 AM
Citation Linkmytwofrontteeth.orgMyTwoFrontTeeth.org website
Mar 1, 2018, 6:48 AM
Citation Linktwitter.comJosh McFarland on Twitter
Mar 1, 2018, 6:50 AM
Citation Linkfacebook.comJosh McFarland on Facebook
Mar 1, 2018, 6:52 AM
Citation Linkyoutube.comSaasStr: Josh McFarland speaking as part of a panel of entrepreneurs discussing years 5-10 of their tech companies and what comes after the initial first few years of startup life.
Mar 2, 2018, 7:19 AM
Citation Linktwitter.comTweet by Josh McFarland about his first investment in Bitcoinafter listening to his friend Chamath Palihapitiya
Mar 2, 2018, 2:23 AM
Citation Linkyoutu.bedmexco: video // twitter - Fast, Mobile, Live. The Future of Video.
Mar 2, 2018, 7:24 AM
Citation Linkbloomberg.comBloombergsnapshot of Zaplet
Mar 2, 2018, 4:34 AM
Citation Linkpatents.google.comMethods and apparatus providing electronic messages that are linked and aggregated patent by Mala Chandra, Steven R. Evans, John Kruempelstaedter, Kirpal Khalsa, and Joshua McFarland
Mar 1, 2018, 8:42 PM
Citation Linkcrunchbase.comJosh McFarland on CrunchBase
Mar 1, 2018, 8:43 PM
Citation Linktechcrunch.comTechCrunch: Greylock just hired Josh McFarland, who sold his Greylock-backed company to Twitter
Mar 1, 2018, 8:44 PM
Citation Linknews.greylock.comGreylock PartnersMedium post by James Slaveton how he spent eight years recruiting Josh McFarland to join Greylock as a Partner
Mar 1, 2018, 8:46 PM
Citation Linknews.greylock.comGreylock PartnersMedium post about how Josh McFarland met Brian Armstrongand decided to invest in Coinbase
Mar 1, 2018, 8:47 PM
Citation Linkventurebeat.comVentureBeat: Greylock names Twitter product VP Josh McFarland as its newest partner
Mar 1, 2018, 8:48 PM
Citation Linkmedium.comJosh McFarland on Medium
Mar 1, 2018, 8:48 PM