Maya Lewis

  • Operators
  • +
  • Capital Formation and Strategy
“Everything always comes back to people: your users, your teammates, your partners, your champions. Empathy is usually a good place to start.”

I was born in California to a Taiwanese Mom and an American Dad. But I didn’t speak English until I was 4, and I started preschool in Vietnam before continuing my education in the US. I went to an inner-city middle school with gang fights, pregnant teens, and police patrolling the halls. The first high school I went to had a 50% dropout rate. The second was completely online. Somehow, I still made it to Stanford.

Growing up, I was always fascinated by other people’s stories and their how’s and why’s. When I discovered design thinking, I fell in love with its approach to problem solving. It connects my passion for human insights to building products that solve real needs.

I caught the startup bug at a 25-person, Series B startup. I loved wearing many hats (Product, User Research, Analytics) and being empowered to get stuff done. After a stint in consulting, I rode the rocket ship that was Uber, and then joined Google Hardware and led Product Marketing for a few Pixel phones. In 2021, I moved to Singapore to join a Fintech startup. Then came the opportunity to join Peak XV Partners. Being able to support founders building across so many opportunities was something I couldn’t say no to.

I’ve never really liked the idea of fitting in a box. I gravitate towards people who don’t fit in boxes because they usually have more interesting stories to tell. It’s one reason why I love startups and innovators – they defy boxes.

Another reason I love startup culture is its intense focus on purpose and value creation, and that innovation can come from anyone, anywhere. It’s about ideas rather than rank. It’s about challenging assumptions rather than taking things at face value. It’s about asking questions rather than just following the rule book.

Of course, there are times when “don’t fix what ain’t broke” holds true. But I get my energy from connecting insights and pain points with ideas and solutions that help people. I especially love when insights challenge my existing ways of thinking and expand them in unexpected ways.

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