Pando

Well that's awkward: Mike Goguen's former assistant was also named Sarah Lacy

By Sarah Lacy , written on March 15, 2016

From The Facepalm Desk

The lawsuit filed against Sequoia partner Mike Goguen continues to stun the tech world.

For the past couple of days I’ve been working on a story about the broader implications for Sequoia and what it tells us about the success (or otherwise) of the VC industry’s attempts to clean up its act when it comes to gender.

That story publishes tomorrow, but in the meantime an odd sidenote. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, and Goguen’s name was thrust into the spotlight, I received a note from a reader asking if I’d be able to cover the story given my “conflict of interest.” Sequoia isn’t an investor in Pando, and I’ve been critical of the firm in the past. But this person meant a different conflict: Goguen’s former assistant was also named Sarah Lacy.

Oh boy.

To be clear: Yes, there used to be an assistant at Sequoia named Sarah Lacy. And, no, she isn’t me.

This isn’t the first time my namesake at Sequoia has caused confusion. Pre-AOL purchase, TechCrunch used to rehearse for Disrupt in Sequoia’s offices, and Michael Arrington couldn’t get over the coincidence. Alfred Lin told me it lead to all kinds of jokes and confusion over her time there, a time when I didn’t always have the best relationship with Sequoia. Once I even got an email from a partner meant for her. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything juicy.)

She experienced even more annoying confusion. I never met her but she told me via email once that friends of friends in the startup world would refuse to hang out with her because they were convinced it was actually me pulling some devious investigative stunt.

My favourite mix-up, though, came when I was shopping for makeup in a store in LA, and the company’s database refused to accept that Sequoia Sarah Lacy and I weren’t the same person. I still don’t know if she got the loyalty credit for my purchases, or I got credit for hers. In a lifetime with the name, she’s the only “Sarah Lacy” I’ve met that spells it the same way. (Fun fact: Only 25% of all Lacy’s are spelled without an “e.”)

So for the avoidance of doubt: Sequoia’s former employee Sarah Lacy and I are different people. I’ve never worked at a VC firm, and she has never worked at Pando.