Hi. My name is Zach Ware. If I were a cow you would say I’m Texas stock, North Carolina farm-finished, West Coast-aged and NYC-seasoned.
I live Central Texas and sometimes in Northwest Montana.
You can email me at zw at zgware dot com or DM me on Twitter.
Some things I do:
- Outdoorsman, river rat, occasional rock climber, freediver, honorary uncle to seven (!!!) amazing kids.
- Acquire and scale small and lower middle market industrial companies and operationally active real estate in the food supply chain, specialized manufacturing and specialized service sectors at Freehouse Capital, a permanent capital firm.
- Learn and write about functional health, evolutionary biology and psychology, stemming from a 2015 shift to focusing on my health in a way that would change everything about how I live and think.
- Occasionally invest in companies tackling systemic issues in areas I understand, including Stedi, Local Bounti, Levels Health, Flagship RTL and a few more.
- Managing Partner of VTF Capital with over 70 investments in companies including Ring, SpaceX, Asana, Mizzen + Main and 50+ more inspiring teams. We are no longer investing in new companies but continue to reinvest in our past investments.
- Part-time venture partner at Trust Ventures, focused on startups tackling systemic problems hindered by public policy barriers.
Some things I’ve done, sort of in reverse order:
- CEO of Pilotworks which provided shared commercial kitchens and services to food companies. I joined as CEO in 2018 to lead a turnaround, ultimately shuttering the company.
- Co-founder and developer of Downtown Project in Las Vegas, a 41-acre urban redevelopment project including multi-family residential, small business investment and operating hospitality outlets. Co-founded with Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh where I focused on real estate development, government partnerships and major projects. (NY Times, Fortune, Wired)
- Developed the the 4.5 acre, four building Zappos.com LEED Gold HQ in Downtown Las Vegas. (BI).
- Head of Product at Zappos.com overseeing product development, content and business operations of the company’s digital and backoffice products (Zappos.com, Couture, 6pm, Mobile).
- Founded Shift, a complex transportation operations and technology company that nearly killed me. I shut it down in 2015. (Washington Post)
- Co-founded multi-unit coworking company Work In Progress (acquired by Let’s Rally).
- Managed the retail and ecommerce business at The Republic of Tea from San Francisco after several years managing distribution and production from Chicago.
- Managed sales and distribution to restaurants, grocers and food manufacturers in the Southeast US for a DC-based gourmet food importer and distributor.
- Studied economics and computer science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and attended high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.
- Held lots of random jobs including working at Starbucks, managing a convenience store, being an electrician’s assistant, picking tobacco on my family’s farm and working in a Walmart meat department for two days.
My general, non domain-specific, world view is most heavily influenced by a few key works:
- Charlie Munger, specifically The Psychology of Human Misjudgment. I’ve been accused of idol worship.
- The lifetime of works of Ryan Holiday, specifically this, this, this and this.
- Thomas Schelling’s paper Enforcing Rules on Oneself.
- Fooled by Randomness and the Incerto works of Nassim Taleb.
- A trio (1, 2, 3) of writings by Tim Urban at Wait But Why.
- Since 2005 I’ve kept particularly powerful things I learn, read and notes from books in a digital commonplace file that I’m happy to share with anyone who asks for it.