Early life and education
He attended Stanford University from 1999 to 2003, and graduated with a degree in Computer Systems Engineering. While in high school and college, he served as a software engineer intern at Sapient, TheMan.com, and Sun Microsystems.
In 2008, Tan co-founded Posterous, a blogging platform, which raised $5 million and was acquired by Twitter in 2012. He co-founded Posthaven after the shutdown of Posterous. He joined Y Combinator in 2011 as a designer in residence but was quickly promoted to partner, where he stayed until November 2015. While he was a partner at Y Combinator, he helped manage 54 investments, such as Patreon, SpoonRocket, and Secret. He also helped compile a directory of "the best and the brightest interaction designers and visual designers". On August 1, 2013, he, along with Harjeet Taggar and reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian have raised $39 million for a separate fund called Initialized Capital, which looks for high-quality founders first and then tries to see if they can help or understand the market of a company.
Garry is often remembered by his thoughts on the startup culture on quotes like:
"When you decide to invest your time in something, you should be earning a lot, or learning a lot. Nothing in the middle."
"When you sell your time, you have around 12 units per day to sell. But if you are selling products, your units can be virtually infinite."
- "Garry Tan". LinkedIn. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
- "Garry Tan - Partner @ Y Combinator". Crunchbase. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Posthaven Rises From Posterous' Ashes To Launch "E-Mail To Post" As It Reaches Financial Sustainability". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Garry Tan Says Goodbye to Y Combinator". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Y Combinator Launching Designer Directory". Mashable.com. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "YC Partners Taggar, Tan And Reddit Co-Founder Ohanian Raise $39M For Initialized Capital". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved February 18, 2016.