a useful q&a in peter thiel's cs183 that's not in zero to one Show more
Q: …If a startup can bootstrap instead of take venture capital, what should it do?
Paul Graham: VC lets you borrow against future growth. You could wait until your revenues are high enough to fund x. But, if you’re good enough, someone will give you money to do x now. If there’s competition, you may need to do x quickly. So if you don’t screw things up, VC can often help you a great deal.
Roelof Botha: We would not be in the business if it were just writing checks. The entrepreneurs make it happen; they are the ones building the companies. But the board and VCs can roll up their sleeves, offer counsel, and assist as needed. They can be there for the entrepreneurs. We shouldn’t overstate the importance of that, but neither should we dismiss it.
Paul Graham: Just being backed by a big VC firm will help you open lots of doors. It will help considerably with your hiring.
Peter Thiel: If you’re doing something where you don’t need to move as quickly as possible, you might want to rethink taking venture funding. But if there’s any sort of winner-take-all dynamic—if there is a power law distribution at play, then you want VC. Giving up 25% of your business is worth it if it enables you to take over your industry.
@a Makes me wonder how familiar he is with the concept of network effects. A16Z has some great discussions on that topic: https://a16z.com/2018/05/16/network-effects-positive-feedbacks-increasing-returns-complexity-silicon-valley-history-innovation/ but it strikes me that he's internalized it from a different direction than most.
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