We get to work with the world's brightest entrepreneurs building companies that are changing the world. It is humbling, awe-inspiring and incredibly motivating. I love every minute of it.
My passion for technology began as a kid. My parents wouldn't let me play video games unless I built my own computer. So I bought a book, mowed lawns to earn the money for parts, and I built my first computer when I was 11 years old. I started writing software soon after, and never looked back.
We live in a world of accelerating change. The only way companies will survive is to adopt and build better technology. I look for companies who give their customers a competitive advantage to innovate and grow even faster.
Microservices represent the biggest disruption we have seen in enterprise technology in this decade. Akin to the transformation that came to applications due to SaaS, microservices will reinvent every layer of the infrastructure stack.
The security model in the enterprise must fundamentally change. Every company will be breached. How do we live in a world where that will consistently be reality?
Infrastructure software is all becoming open source. It is a far more powerful development model, distribution model and, for users, adoption model. Companies who can develop innovative business models in open source will be rewarded.
We are motivated by the people we represent. I am proud that the majority of our LP capital comes from universities, non-profits and foundations. We measure ourselves by things like the number of scholarships our limited partners provide.
Some companies say, “I don't want to talk to Sequoia because I don't think I'm interesting enough.” It’s the biggest fallacy I run into.
A lot of the greatest companies we’ve partnered with were very small at the time, started by very humble entrepreneurs.
I view part of my job as to fight like hell to give every Sequoia company every unfair advantage we can muster.
One day in college, on a miserable blind date at a chain restaurant, I came up with a business idea to build a restaurant media network. Won our school’s business plan competition, raised a million bucks, and took two years off school to pursue it. Ended up failing miserably. I learned a lot from that experience.
The lessons you learn from being an entrepreneur are invaluable.
After school I had a chip on my shoulder that BYU wasn't going to be good enough to get me into the best companies. I wanted real experience across a lot of technology companies. I cold-called Goldman Sachs, got an interview in New York and said, “I will be your best guy if you give me a shot and let me work in the valley.” I got the job and worked 100+ hours a week to deliver on that promise.
I wish I could tell my younger self to take more risk. Even after the failed startup.
Before college, I went on a mission for my church for two years in Sweden, working with people who had all sorts of hardships in their life. From drug addictions to broken families. To this day, one of the defining experiences of my life.
I’m a new dad, and that’s by far the most rewarding part of my life. The thing I love most is going home to my kid, and spending time with him.