The Third Act of Chris Hughes [exclusive]

Facebook’s most political co-founder—and Fast Company’s next cover subject—has found his next gig.

Fast Company #134 CoverChris Hughes has joined General Catalyst, a Boston based venture firm, as their most recent entrepreneur-in-residence. The firm has a portfolio of 65 companies—Kayak and Brightcove are among their bold-faced names—and some $1.8 billion under management. "We closed a fund of $715 million* about a year ago," managing director Neil Sequeira told me by phone. "We’re actively investing. And very excited to have Chris on board." The firm will make the official announcement on its website tomorrow morning.

Having spent the last few months interviewing Hughes for Fast Company's April cover story, "The Kid Who Made Obama President," it was clear that Hughes had been actively soul searching, looking for the right next step. "I’m the kind of person that needs to think things through," he told me more than once. "But when I know what I want to do, I really know."

Though he helped transition MyBarackObama, the online organizing component of the Obama Campaign (it’s now the DNC run Organizing for America) he was not excited about a job in government. "It’s about as far from a start-up as you can get," he laughed. But he hasn’t given up on progressive causes altogether. Earlier this month Hughes confirmed that he’d joined the DC based communications outfit GMMB, a firm he’d become familiar with through their work on the Obama campaign. "I’ll be advising some of their clients a few hours a week," he told me, emphasizing digital engagement strategies. Clients have included the Save Darfur Coalition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation. But his main gig will keep him moving in start-up circles, giving him the entrepreneurial upside he also craves. Hughes will be based in New York, where he settled after the election, and will be actively working with existing portfolio companies as well as looking for new ideas. "It keeps me active in both worlds," he says.

When I talked to him last week, Hughes sounded relieved to have found the right mix. He’s thinking typically big. "I’ve been in the business of building technology that networks people and makes it easier for people to do ‘x’," he says. "So far, it’s been to communicate and self organize. Depending on what I do next… it may be to learn about the world around them."

After helping to co-found Facebook with Harvard dormmates Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskowitz, Hughes left the growing company in 2007 to help build the brand of another unlikely break-out star, Barack Obama. The inside story of Hughes’s work with the Obama campaign can be found here.

Related: Boy Wonder: How Chris Hughes Helped Launch Facebook and the Barack Obama Campaign
Related: The Community That Hughes Built
Related: Lessons From The Trenches


* Apologies: A typo in an earlier post showed the fund at $7.15 million. - EM

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  • Megapril

    Hey Fast Company, your stupid "Social" bar blocks the text we're trying to read, get rid of it.

  • Murphedwards79

    I didn't know that america had such ignorant people in how things really work at the white house they talk as if they didn' know that it is congress that passes the bills' and pays the bills on any and every thing that gets spent' how can anyone that knows how this government works keep saying that Obama is over spending or that obama has u in debt' when he in fact doesn't have the power to do it' wait til the people that believe this gets the rude awakening that Obama really did inherit a nation that was broke and that the administrations before him was selling us all out' when in fact Obama has put a bandaide on what was done before him so yes it is crazy to keep hearing people that don't know any better argue about something they really don't even know about' you mean you really dont know that congress is not passing a thing for obama' its all in the news so if thats the case how did he spend when they won't pass anything' guess whos spending your money people and the are called the rich' obama was rich when he went into office' then who do you think is doing all this spending if its not obama,,,think I know you can do it you tryed hard enough' you didnt say one word about the direction the country was going in all these years' but now it make sense to blame over two hundred years of damage on one man 4year into it right' sounds races to me and its not hidden like you think.....................listen I have never been races but I know when I see it for everybody knows they went through obama with a fine comb and yes he is clean' but you don't look where you should being color blind and that cause all of us in the end to be raped by the worse kind thise that don't give a dam about you or me and they are of your color so you can keep holding what you think is a safe card for you but in the end its about those that rich against the have nots which are you so you better drop the ignorance and join the team thats for people and not class its 2013 time out for stupid shit' thats how we got here now that same lame old talk as long as its not in my backyard so while you were aspleep in that our country was being robbed and there was no money when obama got ther remember he had to make more money and feed in into the economy to jump start it again...duh!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Devin Davis

    The man who came up with MyBarackObama is moving back toward tech and start ups? Awesome. It's funny because that MyBRAND idea is being borrowed across the web with great success. We've even borrowed it for our clients - and they're really seeing a difference.

    Having an innovative mind like Hughes at a strong VC can only be a good thing - I, for one, am looking forward to his next moves...

  • Gordon Steen

    It would be interesting to know who is handling "Organizing for America"
    That's the new story about community building which Chris has no clue about. The campaign is over. That was the easy part.

  • Stu Stuart

    I certainly hope the future ventures are better founded than his Obama gig, yes he was successful in getting BO in the job, howevr it is a great loss for the US as BO is destroying America with his spend, spend, spend

  • Sheena Medina

    As a very like-minded and equally youthful individual, it’s encouraging to read a story like Chris’s. His success renews my hopes for people our age to empower and make an impact. The follow up is comforting in some ways and very exciting in others. It marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another with the potential to have an even greater impact than before. He is definitely someone to keep on the radar. I’m excited to see what happens next.