Bill Gurley from Benchmark Capital has led investments in Uber, Zillow, and OpenTable.
In a 2013 interview with Pando founder Sarah Lacy, Bill shares his views on a wide range of topics pertaining to entrepreneurship and venture capital. These include Bill’s following beliefs:
- The VC business is an artisan business that doesn’t scale easily. As a result, Benchmark refrains from offering platform services to its startups.
- Every time a VC opens their mouth, they’re marketing to entrepreneurs. What VC’s say in public should therefore be taken with a grain of salt.
- Missed opportunities hurt VC’s a lot more than bad investments. This is because when a VC makes a bad investment their loss is capped at 1X, but when they pass on a great investment they lose the potential for a much higher multiple return.
- Many founders are better off not taking venture capital and instead shooting for sub-$75M outcomes where they retain a large fraction of the company, as these are more attractive corporate acquisition targets.
- Founders can mistake factors that have nothing to do with success (like getting an uncapped convertible note and having a pet friendly office), as well as factors which emerge as a result of achieving success (like having nice offices and giving Mac’s to each employee), for the causes of success.
You can watch the full interview below.