The resource-rich lifestyle seven hundred million people enjoy is one for which seven billion people are still striving. Technology-based entrepreneurship, may be the only necessary, if not sufficient, response to meet the global population’s desires for a better life. This is the promise of Silicon Valley. Get started.
Some people seem to think that getting acquired should be the highest aspiration for an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. I disagree vehemently. In fact, I think that mindset does a disservice to the entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and around the world. This is exactly the wrong way to think about building a start-up not only because it develops the wrong company culture, but on a large scale it can poison the unique and innovative ecosystem that has developed in Silicon Valley over the past 40 years.
A 90-percent probability of failure means a 10-percent chance of changing the world, if the goal is ambitious enough. We may have lost resources in those failed efforts, and naive journalists may have poked fun at them, but without the attempts, we would not eventually have developed the many innovations that revolutionize how we live today – including the personal computer, email, the Internet, the mobile phone, the tablet or any of the endless applications built on these technologies.
I recently read Ben Austen’s WIRED article about Steve Jobs, which prompted me to put together my thoughts about the tradeoffs of being a successful entrepreneur. Austen’s article draws a caricature of Jobs and puts forth a series of false choices. After reading it, you might be convinced that you can either be a jerk and successful or decent and mediocre.
In this video, hear from Vinod Khosla as he provides his perspective on being around entrepreneurial ventures from his perspective as both a founder and investor.
“Google’s greatest strength may be the luxury of failure” – WSJ. In this talk, listen to Vinod talk about how to use failure as a tool and why it may be the single most important tool we have.
In this video, hear from Will Roach, CEO of Calera, Steve Crane, founder and CEO of LightSail Energy and Jagdeep Singh, CEO of Quantumscape as they discuss innovation, iteration and risk management.
In this video, hear from Scott Cook, founder and chairman of the executive committee at Intuit, as he discusses surprises and experiments in business.
In this video, hear from Vinod Khosla as he explains how to effectively pitch investors.
Most VCs pitch their venture firms as value added to a company’s entrepreneurial founders. Personally, I think leading VC firms do a pretty good job of being supportive of their companies, and most entrepreneurs funded by good funds like their investors. But, on the question of “value added,” most venture capitalists, even among the leading firms, are pretty passive and ineffective when it comes to assisting companies.
In this video, hear from KV investment partner, Shirish Sathaye, about how to extract the most value out of a board and how to empower them with the necessary information about objectives, goals and challenges to engage them in a strategic discussion at a pretty deep level of detail.