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Mike Maples was one of the very first super angels and was an early investor in Digg, Chegg, Twitter, and Lyft.

He sounds and looks like Andy Griffith, and he’s one of the smartest VCs I know.

Maples has taken issue with a number of Valley attitudes, but none more strongly than the notion of “pivots.” He was one of the first people to popularize the euphemism “pivot” for when a startup redirects energies to something new based on user feedback, and has openly said he has no interest in lame pivots only “thunder lizard” style investments.

Because of all those reasons — and despite the pivot one — I’m excited to announce Maples will be our May guest for PandoMonthly SF. Get your tickets here!

Maples may sound all Southern and genteel, but he is almost disturbingly blunt. Expect straight talk about what is wrong and right with the Valley, startups, valuations, and the state of venture capital. And expect some untold war stories. When I asked if he wanted to do one of these he said, “Oh, I’ve got a ton of stuff I’ve never talked about before.”

We are hosting this PandoMonthly at the offices of Rackspace, who has just signed on to sponsor PandoMonthly through the rest of the year. As regular attendees know, $20 tickets hardly pay for an evening of thoughtful conversation and all the pizza and beer and whiskey tastings you can consume. Without sponsors, this event and the videos and the knowledge bombs that emanate from it wouldn’t be possible.

And this is the first event for which we have new Pando members! If you’d like to sign up to an annual membership, your ticket is included or you’ll get to watch the livestream of the event, along with a ton of other benefits. Check out the details here and join us next week for what’s sure to be a doozy of a conversation.

Attendees will also get the first look at the second issue of the PandoQuarterly. It’s almost too much good for one evening.

We hope to see you there!