Something Ventured Notes

People talk about the Paypal mafia, but before that, there was the Fairchild Semiconductor mafia (‘Traitorous 8’), from which came Intel, AMD, & firms from Sequioa to KPCB. It literally incubated Silicon Valley

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Arthur Rock, one of the first VCs capitalists, was instrumental in seeding & starting up Fairchild Semiconductor. From 1961-1968, he returned $100mm on $3mm invested.

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Why he quit investment banking on Wall St for the barely named ‘venture capital’ in the 60s:

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Rock: “I wanted to do more of these venture capital type deals, but the money was all in the east. The scientists who had moved from the east to the west had all the ideas. I saw a great opportunity in bringing the East Coast money out backing these people on the West Coast.”

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Tom Perkins on a philosophy I heard Josh Wolfe echo on InvestLikeTheBest:

“My idea in everything has always been to try to put the risk up front … and get rid of the risk as fast as you possibly can.”

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Perkins helped make Genentech possible this way:

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Sequioa founder Don Valentine on his approach when investing:

“These are very fragile companies with a lot of things missing and the approach we have always taken is, If we make this investment, is our rolodex strong enough to help these people?”

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Underscores that this is such a relationship driven business. Keith Rabois on monopolizing, packaging, recruiting talent echoes Valentine:

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When Don Valentine started investing, he’d already spent 13 years as an operator, including as an early executive at Fairchild and then National Semiconductor. Tom Perkins spent years as an engineer then manager at HP

 Operating → Investing

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Goldmine –– the transcripts at length: https://sirismm.si.edu/EADpdfs/NMAH.AC.1467.pdf

The Don Valentine ones (esp. part 3) are great for how tactical they are – ex. how he approaches board meetings, etc.