Home » What They Don’t Teach in Business School about Entrepreneurship (Full Transcript)

What They Don’t Teach in Business School about Entrepreneurship (Full Transcript)

Audience: Actually to follow up to your point, [inaudible] you worked for HP first, what do they say now?

Chuck Holloway: Now they don’t say that anymore, because the people who are running startup companies often have the same kind of experience and they are sophisticated, so you can learn from them. They don’t say don’t do it, but it used to be that’s exactly — that’s the past. We want invest in you Kleiner Perkins unless you’ve been at HP for ten years, not quite like that.

Will Price: Chuck, did you see what Leone said when he went to give a talk in San Jose?

Chuck Holloway: No.

Will Price: They said no one over 30. Seriously. That’s what he said. He got a lot of trouble for it. But Sequoia, they were quoted as saying —

Chuck Holloway: Well, Sequoia is in extreme — yes.

Will Price: We don’t want to hire guys over 30.

Chuck Holloway: Sequoia, Mike Morris told me the other day that he doesn’t believe in market research. So, what do you mean you don’t believe in market research? He says, he says the individual entrepreneur has to understand the market so well, and have the million other people that are just like him or her, or else we are not going to invest in them. So that’s, I would say that is an extreme approach.

Let’s see, we have one here. Anybody else? Right up here.

Audience: So, you all have kind of a long term experience around, and you’ve seen several cycles. Can you comment on opportunities in this, this specific period in time in terms of economy and once have like model that may be broken [inaudible]?

Will Price: I would say that one of the big challenges of venture business, of course everyone’s talking about is, there’s a surplus of committed capital and there’s no public market, M&A exits are challenged, and so, you have the situation where the median ITX is like $50 million. And the average company is raising – median company is raising 18 million or something, so like how does the math work? So I would say there’s this rise of this new like Mike Naples the first rounds, the true ventures, founders fund, there’s this whole new class of investors who are trying to be super capital efficient. Y Combinator would probably be the best example of that. And so I think, that combined with huge differences in the cost of operations, the rise of Amazon EC2S3, the ability to not own a single machine and run a pretty big web application. So I think the rise of capital efficiency, and a new class of investors whose expectations are slightly different from someone who’s got an $800 million committed capital fund. It’s pretty interesting. And it makes it possible, especially if you’re a software guy, to be very capital-efficient and find access to capital where people have expectations where a $50 million exit is actually part of their model.

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Nazila Alasti: I will add something else. I think every interaction now is so dependent on email that there will be a shift towards actual customer support and customer service. So, to the extent that you can have more hand holding you can have a more complicated product that’s web based. Not just rely on user experience for that and how you train these people to help you and what technologies they use. I think that’s going to become a very rich environment. The whole idea of customer support and customer education I think we’ll see a renaissance tagging along all the things that Will said.

Chuck Holloway: Mike, any last comments?

Mike Cassidy: I think you should ignore whatever macroeconomic trends are around. I think, sure there’s disadvantages in some situations because it’s hard to raise money, but there’s counterbalancing positive energy — it’s easier to hire and retain people now, and it’s easier to get cheaper office space now, and the competition is lower because they can’t get funded. So I really think you should ignore macro things and just build your company and just not worry about it.

Chuck Holloway: I think we’re going to close with that. Thank you very much, and we appreciate your feedback.


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