红杉召开紧急会议 要求旗下公司节省资金





Dear Sequoia Company CEO,

This is very serious moment in time. Have you checked the price of Google, Yahoo and Cisco stock lately? They all have been massacred. Google is down to a 20 P/E! That is what the S&P should be trading at! You know what all this means, don't you? The partners at Sequoia have collectively lost billions of dollars in personal net worth -- billions of dollars! And speaking of billions, not a one of us is a billionaire anymore. When Nasdaq was up over 2,500, there were at least six of us billionaires walking around the office. Now there is not one -- zero. This means that most of us who wanted to retire in our early 50s have to keep working if we want to achieve our lifetime goal of being a billionaire. Perish the thought that we will never see 10 figures again!

The second thing you need to understand is that we have been caught flatfooted again in front of our limited investors. The first time was when the Internet bubble blew up and we had gotten so cocky that we were still buying Webvan and eToys up until the end. And we were making these investments in spite of the fact that our founder, Don Valentine, was predicting "lots of Internet company wreckage" as early as mid-1999. As the world now knows, we were busted, and we had to stand in front of all our investors and say we were sorry for being so stupid. Imagine that: Sequoia Capital saying we're sorry!

Perhaps we have gotten lazy recently, cushioned by the $800 million we made on YouTube, and all the other Web 2.0 companies we have traded in for millions. And we should have been sounding the alarm bells a lot sooner. But the same Sequoia Capital rules for our portfolio companies apply.

Let us remind you what they are:

1. Market size and timing are everything! We will not pay to teach people why they should like your product. VCs waste billions on start-ups developing products before there is even a market for them.
2. To reiterate how important point No. 1 is, let us put it this way: Market size is more important than you. As we like to say, you can't change the size of a market opportunity, but you can change the CEO.
3. Our investment mantra is to ignite raging infernos with a single match. If you don't get the analogy -- it means that we are cheap, cheap, cheap! There are only two jobs in any start-up: "making the product" and "selling the product." If you have someone on your team doing neither of those jobs, fire them!
4. This also means no high-rent offices, no frills and no parties.
5. Hire overly smart young immigrants. They will work for just above minimum wage and over 100 hours a week -- trust us on this one. (A Sequoia secret: Most of our best deals in the last 15 years had a twentysomething immigrant on the founding team -- think Sergey Brin of Google and Steve Chen of YouTube.)
6. Once you have a product, strongly consider reducing the number of engineers, many of whom are no longer needed. Engineering efficiency is a key!
7. Everybody on the executive team should sell the product so the company leadership can figure out what you are selling and how to sell successfully. This must happen before you start ramping up your sales team.
8. No fat-cat sales teams. The Valley has gotten fat with salespeople with big bases and big variables. Keep bases to a minimum, but give them lots of upside if they sell above highly set goals.
9. Be visible in the market and pound on your competitors. Broadcast their shortcomings. Especially in a slowing economy -- they're hurting, and they will be quiet. Don't be like them. Take the offensive or die.
10. Cash is more important than your mother! (Have you got the point yet?)




除此之外,你们还应该意识到一件事情,那就是我们在投资者面前已经举步维艰了。上一次出现类似的情况是在互联网泡沫破裂时,尽管我们的创始人唐-瓦伦丁(Don Valentine)早在1999年就曾预测说“将有许多网络公司倒下”。但当时,我们由于过分自大,还坚持要投资Webvan和eToys,结果惨败而归。我们不得对投资者表示歉意,并承认自己的愚蠢。想想看,红杉资本承认自己愚蠢!

因为投资YouTube,我们赚取了8亿美元,投资其他的Web 2.0网站也帮助我们获得了数百万美元的盈利,使得我们最近有些懈怠。所以,我们应当及时敲响警钟。让我们一起来回顾一下红杉资本对其所投资公司的一些要求和准则:





5、试着去雇佣一些天资聪颖的年轻移民。他们的薪水只会比平均水平略高一些,但是却可以每周为你工作100个小时。相信我们!事实上,红杉资本有一个秘密:在我们过去15年所投资的公司中,大部分的创业团队中都有一些20几岁的移民。比如,谷歌的谢尔盖-布林(Sergey Brin)和YouTube的陈士骏(Steve Chen)。









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