Continued from Part 2
Marc: On viral, one in a hundred or one in a thousand. Safe assumption is: your product ain’t viral. The number of things that are actually viral is very small. I love the magic business models but it’s really hard to find an example of someone who goes to get the money without taking.
Taking the stigma out of the “pivot” is very exciting. One of the huge advantages of the startup culture of the United States and the mentality we have with Lean Startup theory: failures are acceptable as steps on the path to success.
Worst case is the failure fetish: it’s a badge of honor! I’ve failed four times! I’m experienced! This is wonderful! There are serial entrepreneurs where we say “wow they’ve really let repeated failures go to their heads.” a little too gleeful about number of failures.
Eric: One of our ambitions with Lean Startup is to give people during the flat part of the hockey stick: some kind of early indication of progress. If you’re not at product market fit yet, indicators you’re getting close. You believe Andreessen Horowitz is the long term vision. Long-term is what I admire most. Not just celebrating pivots but long term vision thinking.
Marc: Andreessen Horowitz and Warren Buffet are the last long-term investors in the stock market. We’re 10+years on new stuff, they’re 10+ years on old stuff, and that’s it. Everybody else is high frequency trading. There is very little investable capital – ask any CEO and find out how short term the capital is. VC is an asset class.
Eric: One of the biggest misconceptions is lean == cheap.
Marc: Goes back to big reason we stated our firm and I’m on this side of the table now. You see so many people with such great ideas and so much potential, and so many companies sell out too quickly, give up too quickly, don’t raise out of money, the one and only reason for going. I call it the puzzle of the missing campuses. You drive down 101 and you’re like, oh there’s Oracle, Apple, Google – miles where there are no campuses. Why aren’t there 10 times the number of really imoprtant successful companies? Why aren’t there 100 times? We have the talent and the ideas, but they get taken off the table too quickly.