Category Archives: Business

“Target Big Markets” – Don Valentine

Sequoia’s investment history is unparalleled: Apple, Oracle, Google, Cisco, YouTube, Yahoo, Atari, Electronic Arts and many many more.┬áIn the above speech given at Stanford Business School, Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital, stresses to “target big markets.” Specifically, Don says about their investment philosophy:

We always focus on the size of the market…because our objective was always to build big companies. If you don’t attack a big market it’s highly unlikely that you’re ever going to build a big company. …We don’t choose people we choose markets.

Of course, you don’t have to target a gigantic multi billion dollar market to be a successful entrepreneur, but you probably have to in order to gain investment from a big VC like Sequoia.

One other highlight to note: at the 49 minute mark, Don speaks about Sequoia’s infamous investment in Cisco and their role in ousting their founders, Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner.

Don Valentine speaks slowly and carefully but if you are patient he offers up great insights and anecdotes. He speaks about everything from Xerox PARC to Zappos. Check it out.

How Important Is Height?

There was an interesting article posted last week over at Inc. titled Why Shorter People Make Better Entrepreneurs. The gist of it is that while corporate management tend to be taller than average, very successful entrepreneurs seem to be short (though short to average height seems to be more accurate). The article is not scientific though anecdotally I think most people have noticed this trend, both with their own corporate experience and skimming through the list of billionaires with the likes of Henry Kravis and Daniel Snyder. I’m 5’11″ and outside of my visits to The Netherlands I usually feel like I’m average in height.

I do find it funny that the article is written with the assumption that the reader is short e.g.

But when it comes to starting a successful business, you just may have an edge over your taller peers.

I guess tall people don’t have time to read Inc. – they are too busy getting promoted at large companies.