Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™

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167: David Sacks - Billion Dollar Startups

June 21, 2018
David Sacks is a highly accomplished entrepreneur and investor in internet technology firms. He's got an eye for successful, cutting-edge investments like SpaceX and AirBnB. Listen in on his conversation with Christopher as they talk PEV's, mergers and acquisitions and the challenges of successfully implementing new category ideas. 

"Even if the number is attractive, if the odds of closing are may not be something you want to do." - David Sacks on assessing an acquisition offer

Three Things We Learned

PEV's, the 2d electric revolution

David's latest venture is an electric scooter sharing service, Personal electric vehicles are more than a toy. With the advances in batteries, they've become a viable solution for the average 2-mile commute in cities. Instead of taking the time to grab an Uber or pedaling to your meeting, you can hop on an electric scooter and be at your destination in no time. It's a liberating, exhilarating and fun happy medium between cars and pedal power!

Viral ideas create categories

The landscape 10 years ago for category design was static with blogs and wiki's. To continue with the status quo was a recipe for failure. David looked a the trends in social media and drafted off of that exploding marketplace by applying that model to an enterprise environment. Within 2 years, Yammer was the new definition of enterprise communication software created out of a necessity to survive and thrive. A new category, Enterprise Social Networking was born. 

False starts are a brain-drain

What happens when a giant company, such as Microsoft shows up with an acquisition interest? The dance can be dangerous and detrimental, especially since most never see fruition. Rumors begin buzzing around and soon your workforce is more consumed with their future than focusing on work. The wheels grind to a halt and the dynamic workplace becomes somewhat stagnant. A game changer for David was to find a deal advisor to manage any outside interests in his company. They could interpret the process and stop the distractions and drain on his time and resources. 

David Sacks is a general partner of Craft Ventures, a venture capital fund he co-founded in late 2017. Previously as an entrepreneur, Sacks was the founding COO and product leader of PayPal[3] (acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion)[4] and Founder/CEO of Yammer[5](acquired by Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion).[6] 
In 2016, he led the turnaround of Zenefits as interim CEO.[7][8] 
In 2017, Sacks co-founded blockchain startup Harbor as an incubation of Craft Ventures.[9]