leadership | April 01, 2020

“Hourly Workers Represent a Hero Class”: VC Tony Tjan Joins LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale

Hourly workers around the world are experiencing severe financial instability due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the co-founder of Boston’s Cue Ball Capital, Tony Tjan oversees a portfolio of purpose-driven companies that employ hundreds of hourly workers, from nail techs to servers. In the latest Masters of Scale podcast, the progressive venture capitalist considers how we can help protect our unsung heroes.  

Tony Tjan’s venture capital firm had a pretty unusual start as a nail salon. Today, MiniLuxe is a substantial part of the Cue Ball ecosystem, and a thriving, boundary-bushing organization with locations in Boston, Dallas, LA, and Rhode Island. Not only has transformed and elevated an entire industry, MiniLuxe also prides itself on providing greater economic mobility for a workforce that’s predominantly female and ethnically diverse. Unfortunately, that economic mobility is currently being challenged by the disruption of  COVID-19.


While few of us could have imagined just how catastrophic its impact would be, Tjan encourages us not to forget about the hourly workers being affected by the nation’s closures. “The hard part is really thinking about the lives you might be impacting, and how you have to make sure that not just your business gets to the other side, but all of those [your] people.” People who, Tjan reminds us, “are part of the economic engine, on the ground floor, that really make our country what it is.”


“All of us have to think of those who have been caring for us for all these years, whether it’s that waiter, bartender, nail designer, waxing editor, that barber,” Tjan says, and he considers how we can help a vulnerable class of workers preparing for an uncertain future.


Listen to the full podcast here.


To book speaker Tony Tjan for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, his exclusive speakers bureau.

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