From my chat with Max Levchin:
When asked, he said that it is time to get off the four-year-cycle of the Silicon Valley startup. However, to solve bigger problems, sometimes you need a longer horizon: a ten-year schedule for example, Levchin said. “At PayPal, we viewed the world in a four year horizon,” he said, “Because that is how the valley worked. Had we thought it as a 20-year old company, the whole thing would be different.” He believes that for some odd reason being a 10-to-15 year old technology company isn’t cool, but that thinking has to change in order to get bigger breakthroughs. The four year-cycle implies a certain pacing and if you don’t show returns in that time, people start quitting — whether it is your investors or employees, he added. Sure, some break out — Google and Facebook for example — but “we need more of those breakouts,” Levchin said.
I would add my buddy Matt Mullenweg’s Automattic and Perry Chen’s Kickstarter to the list of companies with a long view.