Pando

“Beyond the Series B”: What Silicon Valley’s biggest stars “believe” (That nobody else does)

By Sarah Lacy , written on December 20, 2017

From The Lessons from the Trenches Desk

We’ve come to the last installment of our podcast series, “Beyond the Series B: How the Giants of Silicon Valley Made It.”

In the spirit of the holidays-- and as a hopeful antidote to the behavior of many of the Valley’s largest companies in 2017-- we wanted to focus this last episode on the Valley’s beliefs. I was struck when I started going through six years of transcripts for the series, how many times the word “believe” came up-- dozens and dozens in each interview.

There’s a reason that belief is such a big thing: When companies start they have little else to sell investors and would-be employees on. Valuations-- even in the bearish times-- are basically a function of hope, a function of what that founder has been able to spin as a potential outcome… one day… should everything go well.

Back in 2012, we decided we’d end every interview by asking investors and entrepreneurs what they believe that few other people believe. In this episode we listen in on some of the best… and strangest answers over hundreds of hours of interviews, featuring Marc Andreessen, Stewart Butterfield, Dennis Crowley, Jerry Yang, Aneel Bhusri, Tom Conrad, Tim Westergren, Daniel Ek, Neil Blumenthal, Fred Wilson, Naval Ravikant and more.

Traveling this holiday? Download the six-part series here. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have listened to our interviews, to deepen their entrepreneurial skill-set and get inspiration when they need it most. This series is a much shorter “greatest hits” of hundreds of hours and six years of interviews.