Leadership

California, Love It and Leave It

November 16, 2020
I love California, but I had to leave. I grew up in Fremont, attended Stanford, and have spent most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, founding technology companies like Palantir and Addepar and investing in many others. In 2011 I founded 8VC, a venture-capital firm that today manages more than $3.6 billion in committed capital. Few top venture capitalists consider living anywhere other than California and a handful of global financial centers, but I am moving myself and dozens of my 8VC colleagues...

Capture the Flag

November 5, 2019
American capitalism is under siege. Nationalist-Right politicians defend reincarnations of 20th century industrial policy and blame weak wage growth on immigrants and foreign exporters. Meanwhile far-Left politicians including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have popularized traditional Marxist critiques of the rich and want the federal government to nationalize banks, the healthcare system, and other sectors of the economy. Each rejects market competition in favor of expanded state involvement in the American economy.

8 Signs You Should Not Bet on a CEO

March 13, 2019
We have had the privilege of investing in dozens of great entrepreneurs, but we have passed on investments in thousands of others. Because we’re presented with so many investment opportunities, we tend to use heuristics as a first screen.

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.

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.

A Deficit of Leadership

August 6, 2016
Our age is not short of great ideas — of ways new technology can be applied to fix global industries and increase prosperity. But we are starting to notice a serious deficit in Silicon Valley: a shortage of great leaders. A common refrain from startup entrepreneurs is that they have no problem attracting high-energy contributors, but are having difficulty finding talented, driven executives who can lead and inspire. It is growing harder to ignore SV’s leadership deficit as one of the central challenges for companies fighting to scale — and as a central question for Silicon Valley’s impact on the world at large.

Tech Bubble or Golden Age?

July 27, 2016
Since the recovery from the dot-com crash, doomsday prophets have consistently warned of a bubble in the private technology company ecosystem. This may sound like a valid concern to Silicon Valley-outsiders confronted with a spectacle of far-fetched startup ideas, wild blow-ups, and the transfer of large sums of money into the hands of audacious twenty-somethings. But we are not in a tech bubble. Iterative, trial and error experimentation is the mechanism by which firms drive the evolution of the market economy; it is the natural adaptation of industry to new technological paradigms. Moreover the amount of money involved in this vital discovery process is a tiny fraction of total economic output. Like any industrial revolution, the present era is one of rapid flux of the economy in response to new technological possibilities. Economic historians looking back on the present period will characterize it as the early innings of Golden Age of the information technology revolution.

8VC - Our Values

December 23, 2015
We believe the technologists and entrepreneurs of our generation are in a position to have a more widespread, positive impact on the world than any group in any previous generation — and that we have an ethical duty to recognize and act on our power. We believe in the power of technology and business to enable greater prosperity. We believe in progress, and in markets, and in creating opportunity for all.

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.