“I like opportunities that are addressing markets so big that even the management team can’t get in its way.” – Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital
Don Valentine’s firm was an early investor in the majority of today’s most valuable tech firms. The 43-year-old firm has invested in nearly every startup that defined a new wave of tech disruption. Publicly and privately, Sequoia Partners often reference specific insights from the firm’s founder, Don Valentine.
Tren Griffin compiled some of Don Valentine’s greatest quotes on everything from choosing opportunities and founders to storytelling and frugality. And just in case you are wondering how relevant Sequoia is today, despite significant innovation in the venture capital industry in the last 5 years, even firms like YC don’t look quite as remarkable when you understand how Sequoia continues to back winners at a phenomenal rate.
More from Don Valentine.
[Insights ] Opportunity Sizing is consistently one of the worst parts of pitches we see. We tend to emphasize this, even though founding teams are critical and seeing a product can be helpful. Rob Go of Nextview offers a good guide to different ways for founders to assess the size of their market or their potential scale of impact. More here.
[Opportunity] Next Step Challenge, one of our favorite EU startup programs, includes a focus on urban challenges. Deadline is September 30, 2015. More at nextstepchallenge.com.
[Startup Candidate] Stealth - We are chatting with a team who would prefer not to reveal much until they’re further along. We can reveal that they’re working on urban farming, so we’re trying a new stealth intro format. We’d love to know what you think.
[Startup Candidate] Edison is bestowing superpowers on the traditional light switch, enabling additional energy savings and new types of lighting control simply by replacing existing light switches. Meet Edison.
[Insights] Self-Driving Opportunities – We enjoyed First Round’s Josh Kopelman’s explanation of the opportunities they see related to self-driving cars. Like connected homes, opportunities to retrofit existing vehicles stand out, particularly when most large auto and tech players appear focused on tech for new cars. More here.
[Insights] How Startups are Transforming the Smart City Movement – We shared our perspective on startups and smart cities with Jason Shueh at Govtech.com.
[Insights] Investing in a Low Carbon Future - Citi makes the case for why low carbon investment is more attractive versus probably costs of inaction. If you have a time to dig in on a longer report, we recommend Citi’s recent report on investing in a low carbon future.
[Startup News] Dash and New York DOT – New York DOT recently announced their “Drive Smart” initiative that includes the use of Dash to help drivers to drive more safely and save on insurance from Allstate (who is also a partner in the program).
[Startup News] HandUp Gift Cards – Just launched in SF, HandUp gift cards enable you to give to people in need, but also enable you to receive updates about their progress, while ensuring that the recipients also get access to a number of valuable additional services. What’s more, Google is matching your donations 1:1. More about HandUp Gift Cards.
Shaun, Stonly & Anthony
P.S. About the those flying cars you asked for.