STUNTFILE: Tristan Walker

Here is a quick biography on one of the STUNTMEN I had the chance to interview. Learn more about his "STUNTWORDS To Live By" in the book!


In high school, the academic expectations could not have gotten any higher for Tristan Walker. He came from a family that wanted nothing more than greatness and constantly made it clear through strict curfews and limits on any potential social distractions. Using that pressure as fuel, Tristan stepped up to the challenge, building on his academic success to pursue a unique career trajectory.

Tristan enrolled in the economics program at nearby Stony Brook University, where he excelled and graduated within three years with a 4.0 grade point average and the title of valedictorian of his class. His career prospects were promising after such strong performance in college. Yet, he admits then that he thought the road to wealth was to be an athlete—which he admits did not work out too well—or to work on Wall Street. He chose Wall Street. After a brief stint working in finance Tristan found the culture on Wall Street less than desirable. Instead Tristan enrolled in Stanford’s Business School to refine business acumen and nurture his passion for technology. During his time at Stanford he became the first intern at then little-known social network startup Twitter, then the burgeoning Foursquare.

Tristan followed his passion further and landed a position at one of Silicon Valley’s largest venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz. In 2012, Tristan launched a nonprofit called CODE 2040, a fellows program that matches high-performing minority coders and software engineering students with Silicon Valley startups for summer internships to ensure their successful participation in the high-tech economy.

Tristan notes that "Race Against the Machine" is one of his favorite books because “the premise is that if the poorer don’t learn to leverage technology and the rich do, then they might permanently be part of the lower class.” He lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California.