Where does product sense come from? Mike Vernal, a partner at Sequoia, reveals the surprising value of long-term holdouts in building your product intuition.
The Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 40 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. We’re proud that their success also fuels great causes. The vast majority of money we invest is on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means that the returns generated from the incredible achievements of founders can make a massive difference.
What is an Outsider Insight?
If you traced a line through Sequoia’s history from Apple to Airbnb, you’d find a common trait: each founder, partner, and trusted expert in our network possesses something we call an Outsider Insight.
An Outsider Insight transforms the way the world looks at a problem. Sometimes the insight comes from transplanting concepts from one field into another. Other times it comes from the unique experience, background, or point of view of the individual. In all cases, we hope each Outsider Insight presented here will provide practical inspiration for the next generation of founders.