Mr. Higa was born in the United States and, as a child, moved a number of times between the USA and Okinawa, prior to completing his undergraduate degree at Stanford University. He then worked for several years as a freelance photographer before joining Apple and becoming embedded in the fabric of Silicon Valley.
At Apple, he reported directly to Steve Jobs to transform the face of technology and consumer industries. He was also a member of the original Macintosh team, and his role negotiating and launching iTunes changed music forever. He now works with numerous Silicon Valley venture funds as a mentor, coach, and board member to startups. Two examples are Notion and Clubhouse, both unicorn companies he recently invested in as a managing partner at Offline Ventures. As a personal investor, he also invests in early stage companies.
“There’s no way I could have planned this career,” Mr. Higa said. “But I think it does say something about following your passion. I used photography to pay my way through School and, because I loved it, I went on to become a freelance photographer. Eventually, being in that creative field got me into Apple. I don’t think anyone can really plan their career. The jobs that are going to be prevalent in five to 10 years, just don’t exist today. All you can do is follow your passion.”
Although Mr. Higa is still involved in Silicon Valley, he has also moved into philanthropy, as the Executive Director of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, a non-profit community foundation in Oakland known for its bold new approaches to philanthropy and its impact on the world.