Sequoia Capital Business Plan

Sequoia Capital Business Plan-21
So we had to go the extra mile to try to convince him that we're quite different and that we could help him to build a business.Four years later the company has a .5 billion market cap.

So we had to go the extra mile to try to convince him that we're quite different and that we could help him to build a business.Four years later the company has a .5 billion market cap.

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Instead all the investors occupy an open space together with standing desks.  And language is very important to Leone.

He never uses the word "deal" to refer to his companies.

That's how we think, that's how we behave and we even make sure our terminology is appropriate.

I tell entrepreneurs to listen very carefully to what people are telling you.  Please listen to the exact words they use.

I don't think people understand how committed we are to the success of every single company.  We're structured for the long term.  What we try to do is hire partners and young investors that really mirror the founders. Many of our founders are immigrants, whether Jerry Yang (of Yahoo! Some of our best companies such as Linked In, Airbnb and Cisco were made during dark times when many our brethren had their checkbooks and wallets locked in their drawers.

We like people that are super over achievers very bright that have a deep rooted need not a want but a need to win. ) or Nir Zuk of Palo Alto Networks or Keerti Melkote of Aruba Networks. The rate of change in technology has only increased.That will tell you a great deal about the potential partner you're about to inherit.The office space really flows down from our culture and beliefs. We call everybody "partner." If we hire a young investor and I'm one of the older people, I'll introduce him or her as a "partner."  That comes to the office space where we have open seating. We have a mobile theme, an Internet theme, an infrastructure theme.So when Mike decided to back off for health reasons and spend a lot of time with young companies, we had a backup plan in place that was built in. If anything we have more of Mike Moritz now in the venture business. The only thing he's not doing is all the paperwork, all the managing and working with India, China and Israel. So for the life of me, I can't imagine why as soon as a company has an outcome, many venture firms should press release in a matter of microseconds. And it's a practice we do not adhere to at Sequoia Capital. Until we learned that we were being repositioned by some of these people that were always in the press.  Many CEOs came up to us and said we'd like you to have more of a voice.  In some case they said were tired of defending you.  So please have a little more of a voice.  So to the extent that we have more of a voice, it's just so we can let people understand what we do and how we are.But it's not to pound our chests and claim credit in front of our CEOs and founders.All we want is a reminder of the successes we've had and some of the failures we've had--because we want to make sure we're kept honest and we learn from all the 700 or 800 investments we've made over the years. It is a drive that will never end until I die.  Many of the people we hire, if not all the people we hire, seem to have that same drive--which is why I get up at every morning to work out.I just want to make sure I don't lose an inch.If we help companies recruit the first 30 or 40 engineers they never learn to do that.  If you take a lesson from Google they're terrific recruiters.So we work very hard in recurring first 3 or 4 engineers then show management team how to get the next 10.In our interview, Leone also has some criticism of the increasing use of marketing and public relations among venture capital firms.It's not hard to figure out who he's talking about.  Sequoia has traditionally done little media, preferring for its portfolio companies get the exposure--though it has recently ramped up in that and he explains why in our interview.


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