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Michael Moritz, Partner, Sequoia Capital

171K views|5 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The speaker shares their family's harrowing escape from Germany before WWII, the impact of feeling like an outsider in Britain, and transitioning from journalism to venture capital in America. They discuss the value of humanities education in tech, Sequoia's long-term investment strategy, and the importance of identifying and nurturing high potential talent. The video emphasizes the role of obsession in entrepreneurship, the competitive funding landscape in venture capital, and the responsibility of Silicon Valley to foster diversity. It also highlights the advantages of starting a company in Silicon Valley, investing in unconventional ideas, and the unpredictability of successful investments.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Impact of WWII on Speaker's Family
01:57
The speaker's parents fled Germany before WWII, with his father leaving at 14 and mother on the Kinder transport.
They met in Britain, married after the war, and faced challenging experiences.
The speaker's grandparents served in the German army during WWI and were later killed by the Nazis.
The speaker acknowledges lingering anxiety and fear from these experiences and appreciates Britain's acceptance of his parents despite challenges.
Challenges and Opportunities in Journalism Career
08:12
The speaker felt like an outsider in Britain due to religious differences and the challenging times in the 1970s.
Unable to pursue journalism directly in Britain, he sought opportunities in America.
Encouraged by a Fleet Street editor, he moved to America in 1976 on a scholarship.
Starting as a journalist in Detroit, he later covered technology in San Francisco and interacted with Steve Jobs, reflecting on Jobs' unique innovation and leadership qualities in 1980.
Speaker reflects on conversation with Steve Jobs in the 80s and transition to venture capital.
09:01
Speaker praises Jobs' salesmanship and engineering abilities, likening him to Lee Iacocca.
despite challenges faced, speaker admires Jobs' achievements.
Speaker shifted from journalism to venture capital due to frustration and seeking change.
Speaker founded a company acquired by Dow Jones and connected with tech industry and venture capital leaders.
Transition from history major to Silicon Valley professional.
13:58
Emphasis on storytelling, communication, and decision-making skills in tech investing.
Importance of diverse skills beyond technical expertise for startup success.
Decline in history majors at Stanford reflects shifting education landscape in Silicon Valley.
Sequoia venture capital firm has backed companies with a public market value over $3.3 trillion since 1972.
17:38
Sequoia focuses on enduring organizations and long-term thinking, working in 20-year increments.
They emphasize the importance of staying focused on long-term goals while adapting to changing circumstances.
Sequoia's success is attributed to patience, talented individuals, and seizing massive market opportunities.
Investments in companies like Google, Airbnb, and Stripe have shown the value of long-term commitment and vision in building impactful organizations.
Importance of identifying and developing high potential talent at a young age.
22:33
Beckham's development at Manchester United highlights the value of early identification and support.
Sequoia's emphasis on hiring young individuals for their business and the importance of time, patience, and learning in investment.
Building a stable team with loyalty and organic growth leads to long-term success.
Obsession as a key characteristic in successful founders and athletes, demonstrated by Apoorva Mehta's journey with Instacart.
The concept of obsession in entrepreneurship and the competitive funding environment in the venture capital market.
27:39
Bill Gates' intense focus on Microsoft, including removing the radio from his car, as an example of entrepreneurial obsession.
The abundance of investment dollars in the venture capital market seeking limited opportunities.
The ongoing pursuit of exceptional companies and the value created in the technology sector over the past few decades.
The consistently competitive funding landscape with opportunities for innovative ideas to attract capital.
The responsibility of Silicon Valley firms to foster diversity in technology and venture capital is emphasized.
30:38
Efforts are made to identify and support talent irrespective of gender, background, or color.
Data on diversity at Stanford shows slow progress in female representation in math and computer science programs.
Initiatives to support women in technology are highlighted.
The need for high schools and universities to change for real acceleration in technology diversity is emphasized.
Advantages of starting a company in Silicon Valley and emerging entrepreneurial activity in China and Southeast Asia.
35:24
Shift in investment towards these regions and the importance of investing in unconventional ideas.
Examples like Airbnb and Young emphasize the value of unique and innovative ventures.
Discussion on the unpredictability of successful investments and the need for a forward-thinking approach.
Investment in a Chinese drone company resulted in $2 billion in sales, leading to unexpected growth and expansion into industrial applications.
39:55
Lesson learned from missed opportunity with Uber to watch out for unexpected successes.
Lightning round format for entertaining and quick answers on entrepreneurship and investing.
Emphasis on the importance of listening as an underrated skill in a leader.
Humorous exchanges on beating Liverpool and Benchmark, with gratitude to Sir Michael Morris for participation.