It has been nearly a month since I wrote about not leaving San Francisco (Bay Area.) Since then, Hewlett Packard has decided to leave for Texas. So has Oracle. And Elon Musk. Clearly, Texas is an anagram for taxes. But others are staying. Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky and Twilio founder Jeff Lawson have explicitly stated that they have no plans to leave the state, despite the questionable policies and convoluted politics. Lawson, who is a good friend, in a tweet thread this morning, noted, “What I take issue with is our leaders—people of means— abandoning our community when it needs us most.” Many of us have benefitted from the San Francisco Bay Area, or Airbnb’s Chesky said: “I don’t think I would have succeeded in the same way if not for the people I met here.” I would urge you to read Jeff’s full Twitter thread. His thoughts and arguments are worth your time.
It is open season on Airbnb in the media these days. After all, they are one of the Silicon Valley stars most impacted by the pandemic currently sweeping the globe. With travel at a near standstill, and us humans increasingly suspicious of each other the deadly germs we may or may not be carrying, it … Continue reading My contrarian view on Airbnb
As Uber has grown as a business, we have seen a qualitative degradation of nearly every aspect of their user experience, whether it is driving safety, route optimization, or general app-to-curb time. I wonder if Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has noticed this. Frankly, I am not even sure if he uses Uber, Uber X, Uber … Continue reading A Founder Metric That Matters
San Francisco is a small town. Stand still long enough and you are likely to bump into a billionaire or two, standing in line for a coffee. Or simply sitting in the lobby of a hotel like Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. I ran into him the other day. He interrupted his call, … Continue reading Brian Chesky eats his own dog food
And they have been around forever. They have thousands of employees and many have billions in revenue. What they are not is liquid on public markets. They have not IPO’d. In a different Silicon Valley, they will all be public companies and they won’t be deemed startups. Revenue, growth, relative size, market share – pick a metric (except for lack of profits in many cases) and you know they aren’t really startups.
So can we stop calling them startups — and instead maybe call them VC-backed private companies — otherwise the label startup loses its meaning. Continue reading “Are top US startups really startups?”