ArticleStaying Small While Going Big

Staying Small While Going Big

The most ambitious companies grow their products, not their teams.

Back in 2002, I was invited by (now) Managing Partner Roelof Botha to come pitch the partnership of famed venture firm Sequoia Capital. While I was sitting in their lobby I noticed two things that I'll never forget.

First, like most venture firms, they had a giant list of "tombstones" on their wall, which are the plaques they create after a company goes IPO. The list was already impressive back then which included companies like Yahoo!, Electronic Arts (EA), and Cisco among many others. It was the "who's who" of venture investments globally at the time.

The second was that there were maybe 20-30 people in the entire office — and this was back when everyone was in the office....

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