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Sunday
Apr092017

Bill Gurley of Benchmark at Launch

Great interview of Bill Gurley by Jason Calacanis at the Launch Festival:

Here are my notes:

  • Hacker One
    • Marketplace connecting hackers and software companies.  Companies pay hackers a bounty for finding and reporting exploits.
    • Google & Facebook were doing this for themselves.  Hacker One scales & formalizes it for all software companies.
    • "Sounds obvious once you hear it"
    • All other security software is defensive.  This is offensive.
    • 800 clients, just signed Microsoft & Intel
  • Snapchat
    • Greatest strength is your greatest weakness
    • A 14 year old: "Facebook to us is like Linkedin to you".
    • Facebook had strength in growth hacking/viral loops such that your content ended up everywhere.
    • Evan Spiegel felt Facebook was intrusive, wanted to build a place that was safer.
    • Three major innovations (all copied): Stories, Ephemeral messaging, augmented reality through filters.
    • TBD if Evan can win by out innovating Facebook
  • Amazon
    • Jeff Bezos is most strategic business thinker i've met
  • Sales department vs HR department
    • 1st investment was Employees.com in 1999, building cloud HR software.  Acquired by 
    • Sales department always has the greenlight to buy things
    • HR department requires CEO approval & often isn't strategic
  • Government regulation
    • Democracy and capitalism aren't the same thing.  They will kill each other if you give them enough time.
    • Most regulated industries become least capitalistic (finance, telecom, health care).  There are no buyers, buyers don't know costs.
    • Incumbents write the law, protects the incumbent.
      • Uber in Miami: can't have a car show up within 2 hours of when it's ordered, has to return to garage after dropping off passenger.
      • Tesla: it's a law that a company can't sell a car directly, require a dealership
    • Glassdoor for government.  
  • Autonomous cars
    • Will take 25 years in the US to have no steering wheels in car
    • Will happen first in China:
      • Government will support vs regulate in the US
      • Doesn't have litigation issue that US does
      • Can't support cars/household that US has
      • Way hire death rate per mile

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