If you look at our most successful partnerships, the founders started the company, built the company, and are at the helm.
I wouldn’t be here today if not for the generosity of strangers.
There isn’t an aspect of human life that technological entrepreneurialism doesn’t touch.
When I started at Sequoia Capital, there was no way we could have considered helping form companies addressing financial services, media, advertising, entertainment, or personalized medicine. But technology has seeped into every crevice of the economy.
If we encountered someone like Larry Page or Steve Jobs every five years, we'd be on the tips of our toes with excitement.
Many kids I went to school with, their dads were unemployed or had part time work. Many of them didn’t have very much money. This was Britain in the early 1970s when there were gas strikes and coal strikes. It was pretty bleak and miserable.
Growing up in Wales made you understand what being an outsider is like.
Everyone at Sequoia Capital works in the same open space so we can see each other, gossip mindlessly and hurl choice epithets when appropriate.
Few markets are as ferociously competitive as the technology business in China. People there simply work a lot harder. And when you ally that with talent, creativity and a hunger to succeed, it’s a formidable concoction.
In China these days, there are probably four Silicon Valleys. In the US, there’s one.
I came to America in 1976 without actually knowing anyone here. No grand plan whatsoever. And one thing led to another. I wound up as a correspondent for Time Magazine and was transferred to San Francisco.
At the time all I knew was that California was the leftmost part of America, and after that you fell off into the water.
America was built on immigrants. Today it’s impossible to satisfy Silicon Valley's appetite for engineers and scientists with people born here.
On the whole, we really dislike it when founders sell their company.
We're looking for people who are at the beginning of a great pursuit that they think will account for pretty much every waking moment of their foreseeable future. And who are following a deeply ingrained interest that they're ready to proselytize to the world.
Founding a company is the hardest act in business, and people who haven't done it don't really understand.
When we get involved with a tiny company, nothing is obvious. If you’re looking for certainty you wind up with boring people engaged in mundane activities. We are looking for obsessives on a mission.
It’s fortunate that most large companies ignore or underestimate startups because otherwise even fewer would succeed and we would not have a business.
I wish I’d carved out time each day to, at a minimum, draw. The diversion and the tactile sensation of making something that hasn’t existed before buoys the spirits.
Picking up a paintbrush in middle-age is not for the faint of heart.
The people who know us well really like being in business with us. We’ve worked multiple times with the same people and we always invite founders to simply talk with all the people we’ve been in business with and make up their own minds.
If you can’t say to a buddy of yours that having us as a partner was one of the very best decisions of your business life, then we’ve failed you.
The Ball is Round. For those interested in the history of football, sometimes called soccer, this book is the first and last word.