Over the years, Don Valentine (founder of Sequoia Capital) has had quite a few memorable quotes. He was the original investor behind successes like Apple, Cisco, EA and Oracle and is known to never mince words. After coming across one of his quotes the other day, I used Google to chase down an array of others as listed below:
"The trouble with the first time entrepreneur is that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. After a failure he does know what he doesn’t know and can beat the hell out of people who still have to learn."
"That's easy. I just follow Moore's Law and make a few guesses about its consequences." (on his success investing in semiconductor plays)
"I got to Silicon Valley in 1959. Nothing is revolutionary; it's evolutionary. Look the sequence of Intel microprocessors. It's all predictable. The nature of silicon and software and storage go hand in hand. In the case of software, you just have to be more clever about the nature of the application. So all these things kind of tick along, feeding off each other"
“All companies that go out of business do so for the same reason - they run out of money.”
"Why did you send me this renegade from the human race?" (comment after meeting Steve Jobs)
"Great markets make great companies."
"I like opportunities that are addressing markets so big that even the management team can't get in its way."
“In 30 years we haven’t convinced ourselves to set up a presence in Boston. It’s a very difficult business to be good at consistently over a long period of time, and it requires a lot of thoughtful and integrated decision-making….”We make enough mistakes on investments we make here (in Silicon Valley), that we’re not comfortable we can (be successful) 3,000 miles away, never mind 8,000 miles away.”
"I am 100% behind my CEOs right up till the day I fire them."
"The world of technology thrives best when individuals are left alone to be different, creative, and disobedient."
"One of my jobs as a board member has been to counsel management to avoid distraction and to execute with constructive paranoia."
“I've always been mystified by the critically important disc drive industry, without which the PC is a useless device. You have to be brilliant in electronics, you have to be brilliant in magnetics and you have to be brilliant in mechanics to get all that memory capacity in a very little place and do it for next to nothing. That market has never been rewarded financially for its brilliance."