James Currier – A Lifetime of Entrepreneurship
James has been an innovative entrepreneur for five times, creating user-generated models, viral marketing and a/b testing technologies used by today’s top tech companies to achieve explosive growth. Today he serves as Venture Partner at NFX and leads their investment portfolio for marketplaces.
Jim discusses 19 strategies for expanding a marketplace company, with one key tactic being identifying a community’s white-hot center as one example of such strategy.
Early Life and Education
Jim Currier began his early career working as a commercial artist. Later, he experimented with printmaking, and by the 1840s had begun taking his art in a different direction by depicting contemporary events through prints such as one issued after 1835’s devastating fire in Philadelphia’s merchant’s exchange.
Currier made history during his tennis career by reaching the finals of all four grand slam tournaments – becoming one of the youngest ever players ever to do so – as well as becoming a frequent winner of major singles titles.
He currently works as the General Partner at NFX, a venture capital firm investing in network effect businesses. From his years as an entrepreneur and investor he has learned invaluable lessons regarding growth and networks which he now shares with future founders.
Jim Currier made an impactful career as a professional tennis player, winning four major singles titles – two French Opens and an Australian Open. Additionally, he reached the semifinals at 1992 US Open as well as finalist positions in other Grand Slam tournaments.
His high racquet head speed enabled him to execute powerful ground strokes and volleys effectively, while his powerful serve often put opponents on edge when playing against him.
James Currier is a founding general partner of NFX Guild. Throughout his career he has founded multiple companies, such as self-assessment testing firm Tickle and Ooga Labs (which was spun off from Wonderhill Casual Gaming), along with early stage venture capital firm Jiff (that invests in startups with potential network effects). Today he leads Honeywell Aerospace’s Electronic Solutions Strategic Business Unit which supplies systems and components used on commercial aircraft, defense planes, space launch vehicles and satellites.
Achievement and Honors
After retiring from professional tennis, Jim established Courier’s Kids, a nonprofit organization supporting tennis programs in Dade City. Additionally, he established InsideOut Sport & Entertainment which hosts Champions Series exhibition matches as well as hosting private corporate events.
He became the first male player ever to reach the finals of Australian, French and Wimbledon championships simultaneously in a single year, as well as win 23 singles titles and six doubles titles over his 58 week ranked #1 tenure in Open Era Tennis.
He was considered to be the father of modern Coast Guard helicopters and earned numerous military accolades during his 38-year career, including receiving the Harmon International Aviation Trophy alongside Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager and Amelia Earhart.
James Currier had lived his entire life in Cuyahoga Falls and enjoyed motorcycling and spending time with family. In addition, he was an active volunteer at the local animal shelter as well as gardening and coin collecting. Together with Noreen he traveled widely in search of wildlife sightings.
James is not only a founding partner at NFX but is also an angel investor in DoorDash and Patreon as well as board member at Aucto, Wheelwell, Moov Technologies, and Jiff. A passionate learner himself, James frequently shares his expertise at industry conferences with fellow founders.
He also competes in the Champions Series and various charity exhibition matches, while his foundation offers programs to underprivileged children. Furthermore, he provides commentary for Tennis Channel, USA Network, NBC Sports, TNT, ITV and Sky Sports.
Jim Courier earned an estimated net worth of approximately $14 Million during his short professional tennis career.
His career reached its pinnacle during the early 1990s, when he reached four Grand Slam finals at once and was the youngest player ever to do so – at 22 years old!
His post-tennis career as a television commentator has significantly expanded his wealth and net worth, while Amazon Prime Video UK likely will increase this figure further in 2019. Susanna Lingman lives with him in Florida where they own an impressive home that backs onto a golf course; together they have one child named Kellan.