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Bill Gurley

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Profile

Bill Gurley has spent over 10 years as a General Partner at Benchmark Capital. Prior to Benchmark, Bill was a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Before entering the venture capital business, Bill spent four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston focusing on personal computer hardware and software. His research coverage included such companies as Dell, Compaq, and Microsoft, and he was the lead analyst on the Amazon IPO. In both 1995 and 1996, Bill was a member of the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team.

Prior to his investment career, Bill was a design engineer at Compaq Computer, where he worked on products such as the 486/50 and Compaq’s first multi-processor server. For the past fifteen years, Bill has authored the Above the Crowd blog which focuses on the evolution and economics of high technology businesses.

Current Investments and Board Seats: Brighter, GrubHub, Linden Lab/SecondLife, LiveOps, NextDoor, OpenTable(IPO: OPEN), Scale Computing, Uber, Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT), and Zillow.com (IPO: Z).

Previous Investments: Avamar Technologies (acquired by EMC), Business.com (acquired by R.H. Donnelley), Clicker (acquired by CBS), Demandforce (acquired by INTU), Employease (acquired by ADP), JAMDAT (IPO: JMDT; acquired by Electronic Arts), Nordstrom.com (acquired by Nordstrom), Shopping.com (IPO: SHOP; acquired by eBay), The Knot (IPO: KNOT), and Vudu (acquired by WalMart).

Other Affiliations: Advisory board of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. Board member at KIPP Bay Area Schools.

Education: MBA from the University of Texas, 1993; and a BS in computer science from the University of Florida, 1989. Chartered Financial Analyst.

Companies and Investments

Benchmark Capital (General Partner), Brighter (Investor), GrubHub (Investor), Linden Labs (Investor), LiveOps (Investor), NextDoor (Investor), OpenTable (Investor), Scale Computing (Investor), Uber (Investor), Ubiquiti Networks (Investor), Zillow.com (Investor)

Lessons Learned

A lot of luck is involved in being successful. If you understand the role luck plays, you will be more humble and less likely to make mistakes caused by hubris.

Good judgement comes from experience, which comes from bad judgement.

A startup is more likely to fail because they lose focus on their main goals and start to divert resources into non-critical tasks and projects.

A truly great company shouldn't have to spend a ton on marketing. They get customers because the product is so good.


Inspiring Quotes

Bill Gurley's Quotes

More startups die of indigestion than starvation.

Bill Gurley

The key question for anyone in business is, Can someone do what you do for free? If the answer is yes you have a problem.

Bill Gurley

Influential Books

Clayton M. Christensen - The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

- Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance (Edition 1) by Porter, Michael E. Hardcover(1998£©

Mentors

Reid Hoffman, Bill Gross, David Goldberg, David Kirkpatrick

References


Technical

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