I was reading an opinion piece by Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder of an online storage company, Dropbox. While the piece’s thrust is about the important and long term relevance of immigrants to this country, I couldn’t help but focus on the role his parents played in helping build his future. And he isn’t alone.

Yesterday, when reading the S-11 filing from on-demand delivery service, DoorDash, this comment by founder Tony Xu pulled at my heartstrings.

“Mom put food on the table by working three jobs a day for 12 years. After deferring her dreams for more than a decade, she saved enough money to return to school and open her medical clinic.”

Success often is viewed as a singular achievement when, in reality, it is a cumulative result of many sacrifices. And there is none like the parents — especially the immigrant parents. I remind myself of that every weekend.

Every Saturday, almost like clockwork, before even I grind the beans of my coffee, I make a phone call — to my aging parents in India. We talk only for a few minutes, and it is mostly banal, but it is a great reminder of the many sacrifices they have made for me to get where I am today. I can’t forget the decisions they made. Every conversation is a reminder of clothes not bought, vacations not taken, and joy put on hold so I (and my siblings) could have a better life.

November 14, 2020, San Francisco

  1. DoorDash S-1 Filing[]

The bigger story behind big valuations

The New York Times notes that big-money rounds are becoming all too routine in Techlandia, which has led some to wonder: what is the cause of this seemingly irrational exuberance? Valuation, in the end, is determined by an investor’s willingness to suspend belief — or rather how much they want to suspend that belief. There are others who are jumping in after seeing others make a killing. There is a herd-like behavior, and when that happens valuations take a leap.

But focusing on the shifting valuation and check sizes, we are missing the point: the planet as we know it is going through some seismic changes, and such changes mean opportunity — to create, disrupt and re-invent. So let’s talk about the shift. Continue reading “The bigger story behind big valuations”