#vc

Loom, Dropbox, And Space Travel

Loom CEO Jan Senderek, on the news that Dropbox has acquired his company:

We know this is a big deal. This decision was made with great care. We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with Dropbox’s vision for Carousel. Dropbox has invested the past seven years focusing on building a secure home for your files. And now with Carousel comes a home for your photos and videos as well. We share the common goal of crafting a high quality product, always putting users’ needs first. After spending some serious time investigating if this was the right move for us, we realized that Dropbox has solved many problems around scaling infrastructure and at Dropbox the Loom team will be able to focus entirely on building great features with a fantastic user experience. We are enthusiastic about being able to contribute our ground level perspective to help craft a beautiful experience for our users. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most to us.

It always reads like bullshit when an investor says that a deal is a great fit. But I’m gonna say it anyway. From their shared Y Combinator DNA to a shared product vision with the just-launched Carousel, Dropbox and Loom seem perfectly aligned. It’s always a bit bittersweet to see a startup sell before fulfilling the original vision they pitched, but in this case, Dropbox really will help them achieve that vision so much faster. 

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When you see plane crash footage, you can’t help but think about dying in a plane crash. And when you have friends who are VCs, you can’t help but think about how you’d do as a VC. But I think I’m happier doing what I do now.

Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera, when asked by Megan Rose Dickey if he ever wants to be a VC.

Overall, good interview about how Techmeme works and were it may be headed.

Benedict Evans:

The problem is, this sort of ignorance and misunderstanding is often how we get true disruption - people are so ignorant that they don’t know something can’t be done and won’t work, so they go and do it, and it works. Dropbox and Paypal are particularly good examples of this, while Bessemer’s ‘anti-portfolio' is a fun look at the sensible reasons why some amazing companies would never work. The challenge of venture investing is that the model depends on investing in things that are laughable, because those are the only things that can make billions of dollars from zero in a few years. So you kind of want people to laugh at you and think you don’t understand the sector. You just have to be sure that you understand why they’re laughing.

Said another way: if it was obvious to everyone, everyone would be doing it — or worse: would have already done it. Only truly “crazy” ideas change anything. And only those ignorant enough (or “crazy” enough) chase “crazy” ideas.

Sequoia partner Jim Goetz:

From the moment they opened the doors of WhatsApp, Jan and Brian wanted a different kind of company. While others sought attention, Jan and Brian shunned the spotlight, refusing even to hang a sign outside the WhatsApp offices in Mountain View. As competitors promoted games and rushed to build platforms, Jan and Brian remained devoted to a clean, lightning fast communications service that works flawlessly.

It’s hard to do anything but admire this heads-down, focused approach. And it paid off. Very much literally.

Chris Dixon:

Some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made as an angel investor stemmed from being beholden to the finance lens. The finance lens feels more scientific and therefore appeals to analytical types. It might sound unsophisticated to say “the products for X are crappy, and I have an idea for how to make them great.” But in many cases, it’s actually that simple.

Excellent post. One year in, I often find myself too focused on the finance lens as well — which is stupid, because I admittedly know far less than I’d like on that side of the equation. It matters, obviously. But if the product works, it works. The best ones have a way of finding a way to make it, regardless of the economics at a given time.

An oldie but goodie from Paul Graham. People often ask what has been the hardest thing about the transition from writer to venture capitalist — it’s the transition from the maker’s schedule to the manager’s schedule. 

As I tweeted earlier, it’s pretty much impossible to write when you constantly have to be somewhere in five minutes. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my new life. There are a billion positives and few negatives. But it is much harder to write.

[via @amac]