If You Get All Your Information On The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem From HBO, You’re Screwed

This is the best quote I’ve seen all week. It’s from Greg Sands post on TechCrunch titled The Real Silicon Valley

Greg is a long time friend and co-investor. I’m on the board with him at Return Path and he’s on the board with my partner Ryan at VictorOps. Along with my partners, we are all LPs in Greg’s fund Costanoa Ventures.

Greg’s post is great. Here’s the windup:

“Every time I hear people talking about unicorns, I think “all hat, no cattle” or “another person living in the land of style over substance.” I’ve found myself blurting out, “F$&@ Unicorns!”* twice recently, including when I was on a panel at Stanford School of Engineering on Entrepreneurship from Diverse Perspective. (Yes, I get the irony.)”

Go read it. I’ll be here when you get back.

It’s useful to recognize that the two companies Greg mentions in his post – Datalogix and Yokou (he was an investor in both) are not based in the bay area (Datalogix is in Colorado (in Westminster, between Boulder and Denver) and Yokou is in Beijing)), reinforcing the notion that “Silicon Valley” is a state of mind or a metaphor, rather than a physical place.

Last week a CEO in the bay area who I think is dynamite DMed the following via Slack.

“people don’t talk about what they’re making. all anyone talks about is raising money”

This is a nice link back to Greg’s post, where he quotes Jim Barksdale, the CEO of Netscape (Greg was the first product manager at Netscape.)

“Our purpose here isn’t to make money. Our purpose is to acquire and serve customers. Making money is the logical consequence of doing our jobs well, but it isn’t our purpose.”

I’ve got a post in me called Dragicorns that I haven’t had the time to get out of my head, but Greg’s reminder will suffice for today.

If you are an entrepreneur, focus on the purpose. Your purpose. And your company’s purpose. Once you stop doing this and start focusing only on the money you are fucked.