Before Lyft was Lyft, it was Zimride. Back in those days, Logan Green ceremoniously only ate beans until they raised money. Billions of rides and tens of billions of dollars later, they’ve forever changed the game in transportation.
Todd McKinnon and Freddy Kerrest struggled to find product-market fit in the early days. But they persevered. As Todd has said, “Sometimes you have to believe even when you don’t believe.” Ten years after their founding, they’ve built a business with over 100 Million registered users, an extraordinary feat in B2B software.
In Bogotá, Rappi's co-founders started with a unique idea: delivering anything locals desired. Totest the idea, co-founder Simón Borrero eagerly pitched cyclists whenever they stopped at busy intersections. He even personally delivered a burger and roses, posing as a waiter, for a customer's marriage proposal. This hands-on ethos helped drive Rappi’s future meteoric rise as Latin America’s everything store.
Manny Medina shows how “immigrants get the job done.” Raised on a shrimp farm with Communist parents in Ecuador, Manny came to the USA knowing computer languages better than English. Now, he heads the leading sales engagement company.
There will be a day when we wonder how people ever died in cars. Qasar Younis and Peter Ludwig, “Made in Detroit” before they came to Silicon Valley, who worked at companies like General Motors and Bosch before Google Maps and Android Auto, are fast-forwarding us all to that better future.
Nat Friedman is on the world-wide sailing trip and learns that can X out of Novel. Cancels his sailing trip and goes home immediately. Great opportunities won’t wait. Power to the developers, acquired by Microsoft, and now runs Github inside of Microsoft. Initiative to strike while the iron is hot and there’s a path to bring power to developers.
In 2007, a young Justin Kan walked into a coffee shop with a camera on his baseball cap and a backpack full of networking gear. He said “Justin.tv is a reality-show that livecasts my life on the Internet.” Thankfully, Justin.tv pivoted from this clearly awful idea into Twitch, which now livestreamed over 1.1 Billion minutes in 2020.
In the early days, we debated whether to call it Twttr or Voicemail 2.0. Luckily, we got to buy a vowel. Trillions of tweets later, Twitter has changed the rules in media, politics, culture, and technology.
Long before Chegg was a public company, it faced an existential challenge – it couldn’t raise money to buy the textbooks students were desperate to rent from them. Co-founder Osman Rashid knocked on doors—venture firms, banks, and debt providers. But none opened. So, he bought $3 million worth of textbooks with a dozen American Express cards to satisfy customer demand. Sometimes, the only way out is through.
We started a movement that put seed investing on the map and made it a permanent part of venture funding. Back then we had skeptics of our own, so we know what it’s like to have doubters. But we also know what it’s like to turn them into believers.