Bill Gurley Profile picture
Jan 17 9 tweets 3 min read
As people come to terms with the weight of our new environment, they are slowly beginning to realize how radically things have changed. One area in particular that has changed - the required level of "corporate performance" needed to simply survive (let alone thrive). 🧵
2/ Building startups WAS a historically difficult endeavor (see chart). The past 5 years things have been "much, much easier." Cash was easy to come by (round frequency unprecedented), & no one was held to any profit goals, yet many companies still received high valuations.
3/ Cash is now hard to come by; investors are expecting solid unit economics & earlier profitability. Everything is immediately 5-10X harder. As such, survival is now depedent on hard-core, disciplined, top decile business execution, which no one learned in the past 5 years.
4/ Last month, I pleasantly stumbled upon a podcast where @GuptaRK22 interviewed the highly celebrated NBA player @ShaneBattier. In the podcast, Shane talks about some of the leadership traits of Duke's Coach K (most successful all-time). I nodded along.…
5/ When done, I took some notes. Coach K believes (1) the team is more important than the individual, (2) he expects each individual to perform at their very best, & (3) the team needs a single, shared objective function. You can see why this approach would optimize team success.
6/ Reflecting, it occured to me that many in Silicon Valley would take exception to such a framework. During the bubble, they expected the corporation to cater to the individual (the opposite of Coach K, JFK), and in many cases, individual needs were held above the company needs.
7/ I don't intend this to be a moral pitch, lecture, or manifesto. I am solely suggesting that if you don't ensure that your company is executing at the very best of its ability, with a team-first attitude, with a shared common goal, odds are likely you will fail. New rules.
8/ The great @johnhopebryant shared the attached "proverb" at a recent meeting, which was 100% spot-on for today's demanding environment. "When the sun comes up, you'd better be running." Run as fast as you can to help save your company's life. "Easy" popped with the bubble.
9/ Startups/private companies are not for everyone. If you don't want this type of environment/responsibility, there are many wonderful jobs at large profitable companies that will not require such a commitment. But if you plan to stay, be ready to run. Your team needs you.

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More from @bgurley

Dec 13, 2022
Many people are sharing great @Coach_Leach videos of his funny quips, but there are three things about him that in my mind stand above his unquestionably great humor. First he touched many lives 1-1. He took the time. Great stories like this abound:
Second, his coaching tree is immense. Many that learn an art/skill hide their secrets deep. But none of us learn if there are no teachers. Mike's willingness to give back to the sport he loved is nearly unprecedented. A great sign of a life well lived.…
Lastly, Michael Lewis once called Mike Leach "a national treasure." It's hard to imagine that a college football coach could bring so much intrigue & happiness to so many people. I watched every game I could. So sad he is gone. So happy to see the universal love. 🏴‍☠️
Read 4 tweets
Dec 4, 2022
Enjoyed e106 of @theallinpod. On FTX, I think they nailed a few important things:
1) Contradiction between smartest man in the room (pre) & "aw-shucks I don't know much" (post)
2) Sophistication of the corporate org (in size, scope, etc) also inconsistent with "aw-shucks" (cont)
3) Agree that SBF has built confidence in talking his way out of things. That said, doing voluntary depositions is a really bad idea.
4) One thing I don't think enough people mention - he intentionally created/discouraged proper governance. He insisted on no board, etc. (cont)
Interesting idea that he achieved things AS A RESULT of having a privileged upbringing. Probably impossible to prove, but certainly the credentials of his schools and his family relationships were helpful along the way.…
Read 4 tweets
Jun 15, 2022
Having survived two previous market resets (2001, 2009), people frequently ask me how this 2022 market reset is different and how it is the same. The obvious similarity is that valuation multiples have collapsed. We went from a "glass very full" mindset to one with many concerns.
Alternatively, the window of ultra-low interest rates that fueled the rise (now rising) was unprecedented in business history. This led to ample speculation. It also created valuations we are quite unlikely to revisit. People will have a hard time letting go of those prices.
Similar to 2009, the founders & executives that run VC backed companies have been quick to recognize and adjust. They understand that the cost of capital just went way up & that high cash burn rates are now impossible. The "game on the field" has changed & they are adjusting.
Read 12 tweets
Jun 11, 2022
Harrowing and detailed story about the state of San Francisco from @NellieBowles. Everyone with a stake in SF should definitely read it. Recently I was at an event where a gentleman name Khalil Rafati was speaking. Someone asked him how he would attack homeless problem... (cont).
The reason that Khalil was asked this question is that his own story is one of being both homeless and an addict for many years in LA. He eventually made it out and has become successful as a entrepreneur & a speaker/activist.…
His position is quite simple. He said a homeless addict desperately wants drugs, food, and shelter. He believes strongly that you should reserve the food and shelter for those that are willing to get clean. For Khalil, breaking the chain of addiction is paramount to getting out.
Read 5 tweets
Apr 4, 2022
Thoughts on how Twitter can use "more speech" instead of "less speech" (de-ranking /deletion). The key is to use the "wisdom of crowds" as an editorial function. This form of "distributed authority" would be much more scalable than trying to ascertain "truth" (impossibile).
Step 1 - create a new class of users that are "reputable" editorial departments at the world's top newspapers and periodicals. To qualify, they have to publicly disclose their editorial process/philosophy. This new "user type" will have a unique badge to signify their authority.
Step 2 - allow these editorial departments to "tag" any public post as "disputed." This "tag" could include a tweet with their arguments for why it is mis-information. So if there were a controversial tweet, & 12 different editorial groups opposed it, that would be very clear.
Read 6 tweets
Jan 13, 2022
The big winner of the 2021 Xmas was @Shopify. Why? because millions & millions of customers were introduced to their amazing "Shop Pay" product offering. Basically it's a singular eWallet across all Shopify stores storing addresses, CC#s, etc. This enables 1-click for all. (more)
The idea for a universal eWallet has been around almost as long as the commercial Internet. In the late 1990's, Microsoft introduced Passport with this exact problem in mind. Over 2 decades we have watched the best & brightest at every large Internet company attempt to solve it.
Yet despite having an obvious problem, & unlimited resources, no one solved this. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook - have all had this goal in mind. The closest is obviously Paypal. Yet Shop Pay has created a user flow that has much fewer clicks/popups. It's truly magical.
Read 6 tweets

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