Michael Moritz, a venture capitalist with Sequoia Capital in California, has successfully invested in computer and Internet giants like Apple, Yahoo!, Google and more recently YouTube. Addressing the audience on an invitation from the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), he spoke about his experiences with these various companies.
Speaking on these investments, Moritz explained, “Every company was not started with millions of dollars, they all had very humble beginnings. Yahoo! and Google had a very humble beginning with a very small investment from us. At that time we never knew or thought that they would become so huge and our investments would increase manifold.”
Drawing examples from his experiences over three decades, Moritz gave the audience three different tales of successful companies – a tale of redemption, a tale of what it’s like to start a company at the beginning of a new business, and a tale of a company that catches a wave which seems implausible. Citing the examples of Apple, Yahoo! and YouTube, he presented the audience with tales of phenomenal successes in the Internet domain that were unthinkable of when they got off ground.
Commenting on the quality of content on the websites, he said, “More importance should be given to content as visitors are the main draw for any website. Too many advertisements with less content are not suited for the site as visitors are looking for content and the stress should be on it rather than advertisements.”
Speaking more on the India picture, Moritz said, “Around 35 companies that we have invested in have set up shop in India. It is very difficult to set shop here considering the various hurdles involved. For this reason, we have tied up with local partners who are familiar with the scene to help us go through the process and I am sure that we would have been doomed without their inputs.”
When asked about the development of recent web structures, he replied that irrespective of its existence, if the website was solving the visitors’ problems, it would benefit the site in the long run. Talking about failures, he observed that it was a part and parcel of the game, so one had to take them in their stride and move on to greener pastures.
Moritz, with his ability to make millions out of hundreds of dollars, has turned the tide for many small companies by helping them start business and prosper into large profit earning corporations.