Silicon Valley

A Note for Startup CEOs on Budget Chats

January 23, 2018
CEOs shouldn’t worry about their budget all the time — on a day-to-day basis they should work on managing their company, building an awesome product, developing key relationships, identifying distribution channels, etc.

Don't Just Donate, Innovate

October 16, 2017
For most, the word “charity” evokes concepts of altruism and justice completely divorced from considerations of efficiency and profit. The distinction between the spheres of charity and commerce is reflected in the unique legal status accorded to each, and the kinds of people each sector tends to attract.

Announcing Terminal

October 16, 2017
Hello, World! Announcing Terminal, by Joe Lonsdale and Jack Abraham Talent is the technology ecosystem’s most precious resource. Innovation occurs when gifted and hard-working entrepreneurs bend their wills to solve the world’s most challenging problems. A primary indicium of a healthy startup is the talent of the engineers involved. At Palantir, Addepar, Zenreach, Milo and the other companies we have started, we focused on building the kinds of organizations that attract the best minds. There is no formula for innovation, but the best proxy is a group of brilliant, highly motivated people clustered together, working towards a shared goal.

Bring in the "Adults"?

November 28, 2016
This blog addresses a recurring topic for our CEOs — how to think about the value of experience at a technology startup, the seniority of a company’s team, and when it’s the right time to make certain executive hires.

Practice Safe Financing

April 26, 2016
The convertible note is a useful and common financing structure in Silicon Valley. It’s a form of debt that is really more a type of equity — one where the valuation hasn’t been determined yet.

Real World Parallels to Last Night's Episode of Silicon Valley

April 25, 2016
Although certain TV portrayals are clearly unrealistic or over the top for comedic value, this episode dealt with a lot of issues we face in our industry.

Why Blend is Awesome

January 19, 2016
Some of the most talented people I used to work with at Palantir founded Blend, and it exemplifies much of what we have written about at Formation 8 and now 8VC (www.8vc.com). Blend aligns with our views about how to create a top technology culture and focus on an uncrowded, yet critical, vertical. It also exemplifies the ‘Smart Enterprise’ theme, as it replaces legacy infrastructure with deep Silicon Valley technology to help an underserved industry and create tremendous value for American lenders and borrowers alike.

A Few Ideas from the Trenches — Part 2

August 3, 2015
Lately I’ve had a strong sense that we’re living at a particularly important time in history, and I feel really lucky to get be able to interact with a lot of the actors firsthand.

A Few Ideas from the Trenches

July 18, 2015
One of the fun things about venture capital is you are constantly learning new ideas and strategies from one business and then applying them to others. Inasmuch as there is a useful purpose to what we do as VCs, I tend to think it’s our duty not only to mentor entrepreneurs and executive teams, but also to learn from them and the others involved. We can then pass on lessons to aid the startup ecosystem and help businesses succeed and grow their impact.

The Quiet SMB Revolution of the 2010s

April 23, 2015
There are 5.7 million businesses in the United States, 89.9% of which have fewer than twenty employees. In aggregate, small and medium businesses (SMBs) produce nearly half of GDP and account for roughly 60% of new job creation. They are the lifeblood of the American economy.

Building an Engineering Culture

September 11, 2014
Building an engineering- and technology-led culture is the hardest and most important challenge faced by entrepreneurs building tech companies. Great technology companies are valuable not because of their IP but because they are engines equipped to discover and build the tools necessary to solve hard problems and achieve their vision. People power these engines, and getting culture right in a young, fast-growing company requires a significant, ongoing investment in strategy and tactics that involves the entire team. We’ve noticed many of the great technology companies share several key characteristics and want to share what we’ve observed as well as highlight three foundational principles that lead to top engineering cultures.