Sequoia Business Plan

Sequoia Business Plan-26
But it's a quite competitive business with everybody saying the exactly same thing and only a few firms being able to deliver. It's an understanding of business.  You meet with a CEO or founder.  You talk about sales, engineering, product management and give some ideas or suggestions.And the founder quickly understands that you really can help them both operationally and from a strategic standpoint. It's not all about telling the founder how great he is or how great the company is.  It's really having a straightforward conversation where you can build trust.  By doing so he really starts to believe you can help him.

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That will tell you a great deal about the potential partner you're about to inherit.

The office space really flows down from our culture and beliefs. We call everybody "partner." If we hire a young investor and I'm one of the older people, I'll introduce him or her as a "partner."  That comes to the office space where we have open seating. We have a mobile theme, an Internet theme, an infrastructure theme.

If we help companies recruit the first 30 or 40 engineers they never learn to do that.  If you take a lesson from Google they're terrific recruiters.

So we work very hard in recurring first 3 or 4 engineers then show management team how to get the next 10.

I think we were one of the first to have in-house marketing function and recruiting really aimed at our companies.  The approach we take is one of training the trainer.

We're happy to help recruit the first 3, 4, 5 engineers but we firmly do believe that recruiting is a core competency the companies should learn.Instead all the investors occupy an open space together with standing desks.  And language is very important to Leone.He never uses the word "deal" to refer to his companies.Look at the number of PCs and how long it took to get to 100 million users, then (what happened) for Internet users and now with mobile usage. That has caused great stresses throughout the whole food chain of technology. People think cloud is just, 'Let me have your system and let's store it someplace else.'  No, that really opens up a whole set of opportunities.  So we've never seen so many opportunities. So much so that we've been careful about the terms we use.Terms like "coach," which imply we're better than you the founder--are forbidden.All we want is a reminder of the successes we've had and some of the failures we've had--because we want to make sure we're kept honest and we learn from all the 700 or 800 investments we've made over the years. It is a drive that will never end until I die.  Many of the people we hire, if not all the people we hire, seem to have that same drive--which is why I get up at every morning to work out.I just want to make sure I don't lose an inch.That's how he chooses you as an investor and a business partner for the long term. We've tried to build Sequoia Capital with an eye for the long term, that we really look for in the companies we like to partner with. We work with the founders and management teams quite seriously.  We do not employ a "spray and pray" strategy where we invest in 30 or 40 companies and make lots of promises that we could not possibly keep, then only try to spend time with 4 or 5 that have a heartbeat.  So we really work with each company we partner with and make an investment in, whether that's a seed investment or Palo Alto Networks or some of the many others. Or a company like Meraki, where we did the Series A investment and (went) through four generations of business plans and met every week until we finally hit on a business plan that worked. It might be for ego reasons or it might be because they think they'll get more deal flow.  But the founders and management teams do 95% of the work.When Sequoia began 40 years ago it wasn't named Valentine Ventures.  It didn't have names on the door.  We worked very hard at making  sure there's not a single point of failure.  Mike and I were the two managing partners, if you will, for last 15, 16 years. We sold Meraki, as did the founder and CEO, to Cisco for

We're happy to help recruit the first 3, 4, 5 engineers but we firmly do believe that recruiting is a core competency the companies should learn.

Instead all the investors occupy an open space together with standing desks.  And language is very important to Leone.

He never uses the word "deal" to refer to his companies.

Look at the number of PCs and how long it took to get to 100 million users, then (what happened) for Internet users and now with mobile usage. That has caused great stresses throughout the whole food chain of technology. People think cloud is just, 'Let me have your system and let's store it someplace else.'  No, that really opens up a whole set of opportunities.  So we've never seen so many opportunities. So much so that we've been careful about the terms we use.

Terms like "coach," which imply we're better than you the founder--are forbidden.

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We're happy to help recruit the first 3, 4, 5 engineers but we firmly do believe that recruiting is a core competency the companies should learn.Instead all the investors occupy an open space together with standing desks.  And language is very important to Leone.He never uses the word "deal" to refer to his companies.Look at the number of PCs and how long it took to get to 100 million users, then (what happened) for Internet users and now with mobile usage. That has caused great stresses throughout the whole food chain of technology. People think cloud is just, 'Let me have your system and let's store it someplace else.'  No, that really opens up a whole set of opportunities.  So we've never seen so many opportunities. So much so that we've been careful about the terms we use.Terms like "coach," which imply we're better than you the founder--are forbidden.All we want is a reminder of the successes we've had and some of the failures we've had--because we want to make sure we're kept honest and we learn from all the 700 or 800 investments we've made over the years. It is a drive that will never end until I die.  Many of the people we hire, if not all the people we hire, seem to have that same drive--which is why I get up at every morning to work out.I just want to make sure I don't lose an inch.That's how he chooses you as an investor and a business partner for the long term. We've tried to build Sequoia Capital with an eye for the long term, that we really look for in the companies we like to partner with. We work with the founders and management teams quite seriously.  We do not employ a "spray and pray" strategy where we invest in 30 or 40 companies and make lots of promises that we could not possibly keep, then only try to spend time with 4 or 5 that have a heartbeat.  So we really work with each company we partner with and make an investment in, whether that's a seed investment or Palo Alto Networks or some of the many others. Or a company like Meraki, where we did the Series A investment and (went) through four generations of business plans and met every week until we finally hit on a business plan that worked. It might be for ego reasons or it might be because they think they'll get more deal flow.  But the founders and management teams do 95% of the work.When Sequoia began 40 years ago it wasn't named Valentine Ventures.  It didn't have names on the door.  We worked very hard at making  sure there's not a single point of failure.  Mike and I were the two managing partners, if you will, for last 15, 16 years. We sold Meraki, as did the founder and CEO, to Cisco for $1.2 billion just a few months ago. And we call ourselves "business partners" not "investors" for the simple reason that we're with them every step of the way. Because our business is all about helping someone--a founder, a CEO--building a great business. They're the ones who should be in the limelight.  Furthermore, when you put the founder and company in the limelight they're more likely to get customers.So we had to go the extra mile to try to convince him that we're quite different and that we could help him to build a business.Four years later the company has a $4.5 billion market cap.

.2 billion just a few months ago. And we call ourselves "business partners" not "investors" for the simple reason that we're with them every step of the way. Because our business is all about helping someone--a founder, a CEO--building a great business. They're the ones who should be in the limelight.  Furthermore, when you put the founder and company in the limelight they're more likely to get customers.So we had to go the extra mile to try to convince him that we're quite different and that we could help him to build a business.Four years later the company has a .5 billion market cap.

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