Learning from the best: 5 interviews with investors and founders
There are many ways to get inspired, and one of them is by reading quotes from those who have built big and lasting technology companies. Last week we put together 19 quotes from some of the best minds in the technology world, and to continue to inspire you this summer, we’ve now grouped 5 founder and investor video interviews that will keep you busy for a couple of hours. There are a ton of interviews out there with founders, CEOs and investors, but we’ve taken the time to select 5 that we consider very relevant and of high quality. Let’s jump right into it!
Jack Dorsey: perseverance pays off
Jack Dorsey’s fingerprints are all over the place in recent years. He was part of the original team that built Twitter while working at podcasting company Odeo and, after being fired as CEO of Twitter, he went to co-found another billion dollar startup, Square.
The interview above with Kevin Rose is one of Dorsey’s best and, although he does not talk about all of the issues that took place inside Twitter while trying to transform the startup into a big company -for more details on that read Hatching Twitter– he does go into detail about his childhood, how his passion for maps and urban city helped him come up with the idea of Twitter and how a variety of other situations helped him build payments company Square. Dorsey’s has had its up and downs during his career, but if there’s one thing we can learn from him is that perseverance pays off in the long run.
Fred Wilson: corporate VCs suck
Fred Wilson has become one of the most legendary venture capitalists in the US. He co-founded NYC-based Union Square Ventures in the 90s and since then he’s invested in some of the fastest growing startups out of Silicon Valley and New York City: Twitter, Zynga, Foursquare, Tumblr, etsy, etc. Wilson regularly shares his thoughts on the venture capital and technology industry on his blog, avc, and he’s algo been interviewed a number of times at various events and conferences. However, the above with Sarah Lacy from Pando is probably on his best.
For an hour and a half Wilson discusses the changes happening in the VC industry, his experience and his legacy. Oh, and also why he does not like to co-invest with corporate VCs. “I’ll never invest with corporate VCs again. Never, ever, ever again. Because they suck. They’re not interested in the company or entrepreneur success, they’re interested in their own success and they suck at investing. There are exceptions like Intel and Google, but most of the rest suck”.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: compete and cooperate
The technology industry, in many ways, it’s ultra competitive. Startups fight against each other to become market leaders in their areas and to control the profits. However, this does not mean that technology companies can’t help each other and cooperate. One of the best examples of this was Microsoft’s $150 million investment in Apple, when the company founded by Steve Jobs was struggling and on the brink of bankruptcy.
At the AllThingsD conference, Jobs and Gates were interviewed by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg and looked back on the 80s and 90s, when both Apple and Microsoft were starting to become a force in the market. Should companies compete against each other ferociously? No doubt. Can they also help each other and cooperate in favor of the market and consumers? Also possible.
Martin Varsavsky: life-work balance
Born in Argentina, grew up in New York and developed his professional career in Madrid, Spain. The story of Martin Varsavsky is full of changes and interesting anecdotes, and his success at building massive companies such as Jazztel or Ya.com once again demonstrate that immigrants tend to be among the most successful entrepreneurs. Since 2005 he’s embarked in a new adventure, Fon, a Madrid-based company that wants to become the biggest WiFi network in the world. However, life is not only about work and Varsavsky has said so a number of times in the past few years.
In the above presentation that he gave at LeWeb London 2012, the Argentinian-turned-Spaniard shares a variety of tips and recommendations from those who want to work better and, in the meantime, have a better life. Quick tip from from: don’t pay much attention to the recommendation of owning your own plane. Achieving that is not an easy task.
Sergei Brin and Larry Page: long term vision
This one is very recent. It’s not easy to see Sergei Brin and Larry Page share the stage for an interview, but they did so in the summer of 2014 at the KV Summit, a conference led by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. It’s not a long interview and very easy to digest, but Bring and Page talk about something that most people know about Google but that has not been made public many times in the past: the company’s long term vision. Both co-founders claim that, contrary to most other technology companies, they have the luxury of working on a long term vision, thinking 10 to 20 years ahead instead of the usual four. Can other companies do this? The bigger ones do. Do they all do it? Unfortunately not.