Second trip to the valley in 8 months and here’s what I learnt:
- Startup employees don’t make as much cash as I thought it would be. And that shouldn’t be the perspective.
- An exit or acquisition does not mean happiness. You have to enjoy the journey. I spent time with a founder with a ‘successful’ exit and he wasn’t as happy as I thought he’d be.
- Most companies are ‘sold’ and not ‘bought’.
- Aquihires are starting to become a non-prestige term.
- Many try to exit the scene with big bank balances. Much like the Hollywood and California gold rush.
- People are obsessed with failing fast.
- Ultra local services like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Ze
roCater, Chewse, etc. are raising more cash than world domination disruptive ideas.
- Series A crunch is REAL. But Angel investing continues. Contrary to Sam Altman’s upside risk, I met a person doing $ 5000*200. And that makes everyone an Angel investor. JOBS act will help.
- Palo Alto/University Ave is no more the place to be. You have to be in San Franciso. Caltrain/BART rides are perceived too long.
- South Bay is getting more expensive. Rentals at $2500 for 2 bedrooms in Mountain View and Palo Alto. East PA and Fremont continue to be cheap.
- HYPE is now a subject of discussion. MailBox as an example.
Do not look at this with judgmental eyes. These are only observances.