Bill Gurley Curated
American Venture Capitalist
CURATED BY :
Why have you not invested in scooter companies?
Why are you bullish on Uber?
Did you think UberEats would have been as successful as it is? and what does it tell about the power of Uber?
Can you talk to us about the changing landscape and why do you think there is a healthy discipline when going public?
Where should AirBnb invest?
What do you see in the big picture surrounding Internet and AI?
What are your thoughts on network effects and marketplaces?
How did you come up with your book “Above The Crowd”?
What does it take to be in venture capital business?
What’s your biggest takeaway from your journey as a venture capitalist?
What’s your advice to the entrepreneurs?
How to survive downturns?
What are the things you look for before making an investment?
How is it that Benchmark Capital isn’t as big as others in terms of personnel but still manage to be successful?
What’s the most exciting thing coming in near future?
What did you learn as an analyst?
What would you advise to go for: seed firms or VCs
What do you think about the massive groundswell in the base of startups and investors?
What is Hacker One and why is it special?
Do you believe in strong encryption and the ability of citizens to have it?
Tell us about your investment in Snap.
How did you get your first job in Venture Capital?
Does the economic fiasco in 99 and 2008 still haunt the VCs and entrepreneurs?
If you weren’t a VC what would you have been?
What do you think about New York?
You haven’t done what other VC firms have done like expansion. Why is that?
Your firm has a policy of equal compensation to every partner. Is that a hindrance?
Why are other firms not adopting the policy of equal pay to partners like you firm does?
What do you think about Quora ? Does it have a strong foundation?
What drives you to earn more money?
Can you tell us about Nextdoor?
There are a lot of problems in hyperlocal space. What do you think will make it work?
Can technology sector help healthcare?
Tell us about your early days.
How did you end up attending McCombs, and what took you from there to Silicon Valley?
I grew up in Houston. My father was in the space program. He worked at NASA from the very beginning. Half the fathers on my street worked at NASA. I’m 49, so I’m old enough to remember talk about the Apollo program all over my house. My older sister went to Rice [University] as a double-E [electrical engineering] major and was employee 63 at Compaq. So that also played a role in my interest in tech. She got options. Compaq went public. So I was seeing this stuff that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. After graduating from the University of Florida, I interviewed at IBM and Compaq. Compaq was offering way more money, so I moved back to Houston. And then Borland went public, and I bought the stock. I’d used its products, Quattro and Turbo Pascal, in college and at Compaq. I started trading stocks. That led me to more curiosity about business and finance. It was fascinating. I had gone from, “Okay, I like computers,” “I like comp-sci,” and “I like engineering” to watching Compaq and Borland go public and wondering, “How does this Wall Street thing work?” I applied to a bunch of business schools. I got into Michigan and Texas. I went to Texas because I decided to stay closer to home and had always wanted to attend the university. I came into my MBA with a burning desire to get something out of it. I think one element of being successful at business school is making sure you aren’t doing it because you just think it’s the next thing you’re supposed to do. Because by the time you go you’re 25 or 26 — you’re not a young whippersnapper. This is a voluntary decision. So you have to ask yourself, “Are you going to roll around in it?” And I wanted every single thing I could get out of it. It was probably the first time in my life I became a voracious reader. And I’m not talking about just the textbooks, but business publications like Fortune and the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek and books — every book I could get my hands on. I just had a blast.
After getting your MBA you went to Wall Street?
I toyed with the idea of getting into a venture. But I met with some AV [Austin Ventures] guys and knocked on doors. Just complete the cold call, you know? I wound up at CSFB [Credit Suisse First Boston]. A guy named Al Jackson hired me and took a bet. They trained using trial by fire. They would just give a freshly graduated MBA student a category and say, “You’re an analyst.” If you go anywhere else, you’re a junior analyst for a while. At CSFB a year and a half in, I made the II [institutional investor] ranking.
Is this that big?
Then the top three analysts covering the PC industry retired: Dan Benton, David Korus, and Charlie Wolf, who was at CSFB. Charlie became the advisor for young analysts, so I got to work with him. Dan and David became friends, so they both gave me all their [financial] models. So it’s like they all got out of the way. There was a ridiculous amount of serendipity.
For how long were you at CSFB?
I was there for three years, and that’s when Above the Crowd [Gurley’s newsletter] launched, which is actually a knockoff of something Korus was doing. He did weekly fax. People loved him for it. When he retired, that stopped. So I copied it. Back then the prevailing view was that research like Above the Crowd should only be given to a firm’s clients. But the economic incentive for analysts was to become well known. So I started giving away everything. That got me exposed to all the executives in the PC industry. One of the things that helped propel me into venture was that I got invited to the Agenda Conference, [writer and VC] Stewart Alsop’s conference. It was everything back then.
Do you remember that?
There was a Palm Pilot for sale. And I bought it at the event. It had every attendee’s contact information. So I spammed the entire Agenda without their permission. Then Frank Quattrone [the investment banker] called me out of the blue and said, “We’re leaving Morgan Stanley, we’ve heard a lot of things about you, we want you to join us.” Frank and I had a long talk, and he said, “What do you want to be long term?” I said, “I’d love to be a VC.” He said, “Come to work for me, I’ll move you to Silicon Valley and introduce you to every venture capitalist that I know.”
Talk about the current economic climate in Silicon Valley. What led you to conclude we are in a bubble? Why are you worried about that?
I believe that in a world where capital is super easy to raise, it’s a net negative for great entrepreneurs. So if we’re in the business of backing the best entrepreneurs and helping them build long-standing, sustainable companies, this is a horrible environment for that. A good entrepreneur is systematically advantaged in an environment where it’s tough to raise capital. I would go as far as to say that you could have 60 years of business experience. You could be Jack Welch. You could be Warren Buffett. You could be [Jeff] Bezos. And it doesn’t prepare you for a world where your less talented competitor can afford to lose $300 million next year and maybe the same the year after because of all the money they’ve raised. There’s no rule book for that world.
Were there a couple of events or deals that made you say, “We’re there?
Well, the first thing that started happening — a huge contrast to ’99 — is that there are fewer companies being funded than in ’99. But they’re being given the remarkable benefit of the doubt, and they’re allowed to raise amounts of capital that are unprecedented. I’d have to look, but I’d bet 20 of our companies have raised over $100 million. And the burn rates are way higher now than in ’99. Way higher.
That’s backward, isn’t it? Back then you needed office space and expensive software, servers, and bandwidth to start a company. Now all you need is a credit card, a laptop, and an Amazon web services account to start a mobile app company.
That whole notion gets way too much airplay — that you can start a company for nothing. Here’s why: People are more expensive than they’ve ever been. If you’re going to hire people, it’s expensive to build a company. There are engineers coming out of MIT making $175K. If you’re going to hire 30 people, it’s expensive.
Is that a lot more than a Sun server?
Exactly. There’s no super cheap company out there. The press is obsessed with that notion, and it’s not realistic.
Has there been a couple of deals that drove your thinking?
When I start seeing things that are overly promotional and fall into the realm of entrepreneur-as-snake-oil-salesman, I always get concerned because I know that’s unsustainable. It’s also bad for Silicon Valley’s image. Silicon Valley looks the worst when we start acting entitled. You know, “We get to eat the world. We get to disrupt everything. But guess what? We don’t actually want to be profitable. We don’t want to be held to your rules. We don’t want to be accountable. We don’t want to have to go public.” That’s pretty entitled thinking. We look like babies. So you asked for specific examples. I can remember being at a conference where the Fab CEO was on stage. Someone asks, “What’s your sustainable competitive advantage?” And he says, “Oh, my co-founder is the best designer on the planet.” I thought to myself, “You know, based on everything I’ve read about business, starting back to my Texas days and studying, that doesn’t add up.” It was like this doesn’t make sense. It eventually became true and didn’t make sense. [Fab raised $330 million to create an Adobe Flash-based e-commerce site for small design shops to sell their wares. It was valued at nearly $1 billion by summer 2013. Fifteen months later it was effectively dead.] Some of the work the Wall Street Journal has done on Zenefits is also worth looking at. I think the CEO was quoted as saying, “We’re going to be $100 billion in revenue.” What is going through your mind to say that? I think they ended up doing $35 or $40 million in revenues last year. So even $1 billion, 1/100th of that is plenty aspirational. [Zenefits just replaced its CEO.] When I see that stuff, I feel like we’ve trained entrepreneurs to value the wrong things, to just be promoters. Today, as the backer of marquee-name companies like Uber, Twitter, OpenTable, Yelp, Zillow, Dropbox, Instagram, and Snapchat, Gurley and his firm Benchmark Capital have helped make Silicon Valley arguably the hottest place to start a business career.
Is there a certain amount of promotion that’s required to be an entrepreneur though.
No question. I have a graph that has promotion skills on one line and execution skills on the other. The Bezoses know how to do both. But very few others do.
Benchmark has had unparalleled success. Do you have a model or a vision of the world that you use to evaluate companies you see?
We have this partnership model where all the partners share equally in the profits. Things don’t scale well inside of that because we don’t have a CEO. We experimented with expansion coming out of ’99. We launched Benchmark Europe and Benchmark Israel and tried to replicate what we do, recognizing that entrepreneurism wasn’t a U.S.-centric thing. And it caused all kinds of distraction. We had done a billion-dollar fund in ’99. So we told our limited partners in 2007, “We’re going to $400-million funds. We’re only going to do an early stage. We’re not going to do international. We’re not going to do growth. We’re not going to do seed.” I think it was very fortuitous timing because almost three or four years after we did that, all of our competition started scaling out in huge ways into different geographic sectors. They became stage agnostic. They raised huge, billion-dollar funds. And, to me, that’s been the seminal event that led to our success — that we chose to focus. And being focused as an investor I think is the most important thing. It means giving up the notion that you’re going to scale up and take over the world. But I don’t believe that there are network effects to venture.
Be more specific. What led you toward Twitter? What led you toward Uber? You’re not taking a dartboard approach. What’s the frame you use to evaluate companies?
When we failed to pursue Google in 2002, I remember a lot of the reasons we didn’t chase it was rule-of-thumb things that we all had assumed were true about the venture. Things like: “You can’t have two Ph.D.s running it,” “Search is a mature business,” “Yahoo has just gone from $82 a share to $10,” “Excite got sold for nothing, or went bankrupt.” I learned that if you use rules of thumb, you can actually get yourself in trouble. So we have an evolving ruleset, which is a really amorphous thing. It works well to have a group of smart people juxtaposing and guessing together and challenging each other’s assertions. Because the rules change. Anytime something gets overly choreographed — like virtual reality or self-driving cars right now — it’s probably not going to be a great venture category. Everyone’s talking about them 10 years before they are going to break out. That’s where all the incumbents go. The stuff that comes out of nowhere — where no one was thinking it was possible — those are the grand slams that go out of the park.
How do you prepare yourself for stuff that comes out of nowhere?
It’s a hard question. Where we really screw up is when we decide “no” for the wrong reason. If we bet $10 million on a company that doesn’t work, we lose $10 million. When we failed to put $12 million in Google, and the deal went to Kleiner and Sequoia, we missed out on a thousand times that. The real question is, “Are you getting enough at-bats?”If you’re getting the at-bats and you bat .400, you’re very successful in the venture. But if you’re not at-bat at all, then your odds of hitting a home run with one at-bat is low.
Is having all the companies you invest in to be a driving distance away part of the answer? But you can Skype. What’s the difference?
Yes. I can grab coffee with the VP of marketing at one of our companies tomorrow. I can’t do that if it’s a plane flight away. The difference is immense. Like, your ability to persuade someone if you have face-to-face time is so much higher. There are also all these other ephemeral things that make Silicon Valley different. It’s remarkably open in a way that probably would be super hard to explain to other people elsewhere. You can cold call someone here who’s fairly high up and say, “Man, I’m really impressed by what you’ve done. Can I get 30 minutes or an hour for coffee? I want to ask you some questions.” I’ve found 80 percent of the time they say “yes.” The knowledge-sharing that can come from that is unique.
How are Silicon Valley and the VC business different today than they were 15 years ago?
The venture has gotten much more competitive.
Even more, than it was in 1999 and 2000 and from whom?
In the seed and late stage, there’s hyper-competition. What I think that has caused, unfortunately, is that most VCs live in fear of a bad reference. From entrepreneurs. I think Silicon Valley boards are probably the softest they’ve ever been. If you go back to the old days of venture capital, you hear stories about the Don Valentines of the world just iron fisting their way through a board meeting. [Valentine founded Sequoia Capital in 1972 and was one of the early investors in Apple, Atari, Oracle, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Google, and YouTube.] No one does that today, and it makes the job of a VC a lot tougher. In a board meeting, you can’t influence through fiat or contracts. You have to do it all through persuasion.
Talk about the Valley bro culture. How do you tell women and minorities that Silicon Valley will be just as welcoming to them?
I have a strong reaction to that. There’s a bias that’s intentional bias, and then there’s a bias that comes from systematic exposure to something that causes me or someone to behave in a way that might be biased. I have never seen anyone in Silicon Valley talking in a racist or gender-biased way for the sake of it. And there are certain nationalities — India, China — that are well-represented in Silicon Valley. Probably overrepresented relative to the U.S. footprint. And I think if you look at African Americans, or if you look at females, they’re underrepresented. But I would heavily discourage the notion that someone shouldn’t come here because of that. I don’t think there’s this intentional bias out there. Everyone is very opportunity-driven. I’d also say that we have to work equally hard at celebrating the successes as we do pointing at the problems. In other words, there are some remarkable female VCs, you know, Mary Meeker [Kleiner Perkins] and Ruby Lu [DCM Ventures] and Jenny Lee [GGV Capital], and Rebecca Lynn [Canvas Ventures]. You need to make it look possible. And it is possible. By the way, it’s way better on the entrepreneur side than on the VC side. We have numerous portfolio companies with female founders, female CEOs who are phenomenal. Katrina Lake, the 31-year-old CEO of Stitch Fix, is one of the best entrepreneurs I’ve ever worked with. Without a gender qualifier. Just flat out.
If you had to do it all over again, would you do it any differently?
That’s a great question. I get asked that in every interview I do. I probably would have come straight to Benchmark, and I certainly would have tried to invest in Google. The second one would be №1.
Anything that’s not really obvious?
No, look, I pinch myself. I love the venture game. I love entrepreneurism, I love technology, I love betting, I love investing. If there were an epitaph to my career, I would love for it to be, “He loved the job more than anyone else.”
What is there in Response to Frmr Twitter CEO Dick Costolo
I have been outspoken about the oversupply of capital for half a decade. So, I may have been early to Dick’s prognosis. But, look, there is a lot of money in late-stage private. And in certain cases, that leads to using capital as a weapon. And when that happens, and it’s not in every market, it’s not true in NextDoor’s case, and in other markets where capital becomes a weapon, the losses get really big and that word ‘frothy’ is going to come out and you’re going to start hearing a lot of questions about unit economics, which is starting to happen.
What are your views on Going Public?
Look, I have been – I have always been a big believer that it is always a good time to take a company into public markets. I think there are people like Rich Barton and Marc Benioff who share my -- and Mark Cuban who share my beliefs that it really is just about playing at the next level. And you get out there amongst some of the smartest investors in the world and they hold you to a high standard, but that makes you execute better. So, I view it as the right step for anybody who is ready to take the next step. And I also think that Silicon Valley has become so competitive in the venture capital market that the level of discipline invoked from the board is just not there. And I think too many people have to worry about where their next deal is coming from, whether they have a buddy-buddy relationship with the founder. And the buy-side can be a lot tougher. But I think in a lot of ways that makes the companies execute a lot better. Mark Zuckerburg said that he made a mistake, he went public two years too late and that the bi-sect really pushed him on mobile in a way that was helpful.
What are your views on Softbank?
Well, look, I think that one of the things that are frequently part of their arsenal is using capital as a weapon. Right. And so, you get into these discussions about profitability or not profitability. If they enter your market, I don’t care what industry you’re in and I don’t care if they invest in you, if they invest in your competitor, you’re engaged in a game. Now, certainly, you know, one reason we love things like social networks are they are not exposed to price competition in that way. But ride-sharing is, food delivery is, banking is which I think is the next industry that will be exposed to this kind of capital as a weapon thing. And it’s real. And one of the challenges is, if you are on the boards of these companies, is choosing not to engage is seeding the field. So, I think it’s one of the toughest things a board has ever had to analyze. Like, any board in the history of the business. Like, no one has faced this. We even saw it in the enterprise in the Cloudera case where two enterprise companies raise a billion dollars each and they just put it into sales. It’s a hard challenge. Like, if you don’t engage, you lose.
Do you still support founder CEOs? should founders continue to run the companies as they go into the public market?
Look, I think the best outcome as can be seen by the likes of everything from Microsoft to Google to Facebook – Amazon, right, is when a founder takes it all away. it is by far the best outcome. it is best outcome for venture investors. Most CEO searches are a 50/50 gamble. and it is very rare to land someone like a Sarah Friar, who is just incredible. No one wants to make that transition unless they have to. Whether or not you have the wherewithal to scale as a CEO, which includes things like leadership and being able to manage 10,000 employees and all these things, that’s a -- we have to live through that every single time.I think like, as Brad highlighted, we’re talking about the like super upper echelon of these private companies that make it to this level. And so out of the, you know, ten that made it to this level, five have had the type of founder that can go all the way. And that’s what you’re looking for, that’s what you are hoping for, that’s what you’re, as a board member, trying to make happen. and so I almost consider it unfortunate that we weren’t able to make that happen in the Uber case. I’m thrilled that Dara’s come in and everything he’s done. But that wasn’t the optimal path.
What are your views on Uber? Notable obviously investor is the benchmark. what do you make of what’s happened since the IPO?
Well, it’s interesting. You guys had someone on in the past week or two who said two things. They said, you know, the markets that they are in our highly competitive and that there are really low barriers to entry. And I agree with the first one. I think the markets continue to be competitive for all the reasons we had talked about in the capital. I think the barrier to entry question is exactly the opposite of that. There is no one competing in ride-sharing that hasn’t been willing to lose a billion dollars a year. And that makes it a sport of kings. There were three or four other players in the U.S. market. I don’t even remember their names. They’re gone. The automakers and google all threatened to enter the business. That didn’t happen. Right? So I actually think there are high barriers to entry. They are highly competitive. You look at, especially food delivery you have players being funded by this capital as a weapon concept that we talked about. You know, Uber is in it for the long-haul. They’ve got 13 billion dollars on the balance sheet and aim to be a player in the market.
We talked about the narrative. Has Dara not expressed the narrative in a good enough way?
Well, I think Dara has done an amazing job, first of all... I mean, if you think about where we were when we took over, we had fires burning in several places in the U.S. -- I mean that as a figuratively and all over the world from a regulatory standpoint. All those were put away. He took us to the public markets, he’s changed the brand and he’s the culture inside the company. I’m thrilled with what he has done.
Is there a real -- can you see a path to profitability? The investors seem to be questioning whether there is one.
Absolutely. And a number of companies have gone through that transition, Amazon, Twitter, Snap. They’ve all -- this is part of what you talk about you come to the public market and the public market is going to push you harder. And so the public markets are saying we want to know there is a path to profitability. They started talking about the contribution from the ride-sharing business and started disclosing more details around that. As I said, I think food is more competitive so that may take a little bit longer. They are extremely well capitalized and they are aware that the street cares about this. And I think they’re marching towards that.
Is there’s not much growth left for investors to see?
Well, so I agree with him that they waited too long. As I’ve said, I am a big fan of companies going public sooner rather than later for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. I think the company has incredible growth. Let’s look at the fact that I think most analysts for 2020 have 85 billion in gross GMV. That is a massive business. This company is less than ten years old. Like, to have 20% or 30% growth on that top line is phenomenal. And one of the things brad talked about like long-term trends, you know, Kara talks about why I don’t know why anyone would own a car anymore. She is one of the first movers in that mindset. But we’ve spent 100 years building a car-centric society in the U.S. We go through peak car and that starts going the other way, you can have a four-decade growth driver for ride-sharing as more and more people move away from car ownership. And I think that’s going to happen. Although, I will tell you. I get more calls today about people inquiring ongoing long than being dismissive. So now that the stock is pulled back this much, you have a $55 billion market cap, you have 13 billion in cash, you have 13 billion conservatively in Didi, Korean, the Russian asset Grab. There is like 25 billion against a company that will do 85 billion gross next year. And even in the darkest days in ’01 when amazon was being held to the same kind of test and question, it traded about 0.5 against those GMV. And then it eventually went up to 1.3 and then to 1.8.
What do you have o say about Direct Listings?
I think – well, I have actually been digging into this quite deeply ever since Barry McCarthy led the way with the Spotify direct listing. And I apologize to the Silicon Valley community that it took me two decades to figure this out. But I think Silicon Valley’s been on the bad end of a bad joke for about four decades now, in terms of the traditional IPO process works. Barry McCarthy has called it moronic. And the more I have studied and contrasted with direct listings, the more I realize that. I brought along some data, I don’t know if you can show it. This data is compiled by Jay Ritter. You guys have had him on. He is a professor at the University of Florida, known as Mr. IPO. He has tons of IPO data. So, the first slide is about underpricing. And this is solely looking at the difference between the price that the stocks handed out to the night before and to close the next day. So, over 39 years that’s been 171 billion for silicon valley companies. and it’s been increasing lately, just year to date we are at 6 billion in underpricing. and if you study the way it works, it’s kind of counter-logical that it happens. The next slide is even more surprising. so the next slide, I asked Jay if he had ever run an analysis of looking at underpricing by the lead underwriter. And he said, sure. That is easy to do. So, he ran some numbers. So, this is ten years of data, a decade of date, over 100 IPOs per underwriter. And what you see is astonishing. What you see is that no one questions who the two best investment banks are. So, it turns out that if you go with the best investment bank, you get the worst execution. And that is – that’s remarkably odd. If you’re Amazon buying cardboard or GM buying steel, do you get the best execution or the worst execution? Right? That’s pretty understandable, right? You get the best. Here if you choose to work with the top underwriter, you get the worst execution. So, something’s not right. There’s a market inefficiency underfoot.
What do you mean by the underwriters?
The word underwriter is a myth, anyway. They don’t put capital up. The only capital that is available for stabilization is the green shoots, which is the company’s own capital. And once it breaks, they make a profit on that. So they’re more worried about profit maximization than actually stock stabilization. when they were on a traditional IPO process, you have to understand what happens. They go meet with wonderful people like brad and many others, so they have about two to three weeks on the road. And they ask them to give them their demand. And they tabulate it and they put it all in a file which would make you think that somehow there is some type of process here. But then, guess what? And if you have any of them on, ask them what the target over allocation is for standard IPO. Because they will tell you 20x. So, 20x oversupply is a euphemism for we are about to ignore 95% of the demand for your stock. Intentionally ignore 95% of the demand for your stock. Now, in a direct listing process, they match supply and demand. Most people don’t know this. They use the standard opening process and technology that’s used to open every stock every single day. And one of the ultimate ironies is if you do a traditional IPO, you do a direct listing the next morning. It’s just the only people allowed to sell are the ones we handed the stock to the night before. And that’s why this is set up to fail. Now, I kept studying that list of the lead underwriters and wondering how it could possibly be true that the best players give you the worst execution? And it dawned on me. There is an area of study in economics called The Agency Problem. And there is a variant of it called The Multiple Agency Problem. So, you have an agent looking after multiple parties: the company, but guess what, also the buy-side. Now, if you look back at the chart and you say what if their job is to pass along the most profits they possibly can to the buy-side, then the chart makes sense. So, you just have to realize, the customer is not the start-up. The customer is the buy-side. .. Bill Gurley: By the way, Chairman Clayton in his speech yesterday at lunch, talked about fairness and access. And that’s another thing here. If you are in a direct listing, any direct listing, and you are at a Schwab account, or a Robin Hood account, I don’t care what and you put in an order that’s a penny higher than the closing price, you get filled. That is not true in a traditional IPO. In fact, retail is often held to five percent and you have no guarantee that you can get access. So, the people that are getting that cheap stock, that 171 billion of value transfer, is a handful of the best accounts of the best.
What are your views on Apple?
Yeah, look, I own tons of Apple products. I love every one of them. I’m not considering an alternative to any of them. And when they make an announcement like later today, I will look to see if I want it, and if I want it, I will buy it. If there are a lot of customers like me, and I think they are, it’s a stock you want to own. I would say that I think and biased as a venture capitalist obviously, but I think they could be more aggressive. You know, losing Ways at a billion was a big mistake from my standpoint. And you know, you look at a successful company like Roku, right, which I think trades on a valuation that’s based on the premise that someone might want to buy it. But like, those are assets that could have been very strategic to Apple. And I think in a Jobs-sian world, it would make sense to have a no acquisition rule, but in a post-Jobs-sian world, maybe you should be more open minded.
What are your views on Facebook?
A quick comment on Facebook, which is our companies that advertise are finding that Facebook is taking an increasing portion of share relative to Google. So, there really are two digital platforms now for at-scale advertising. And I haven’t seen that wane in any way. In fact, Facebook has crossed over into e-commerce which is a hard thing to do. I’m not sure Twitter and Snap, as an example, have made that transition. So, onto big tech.
What do you have to say about Trade?
Yeah, look, some companies are more exposed to it, if are you sourcing products from china, obviously, this is something that’s much more in your view than if you are not. Look, I’m a fundamental, but I think last time on the show I said this, but I’m a fundamental believer in free trade and that free trade list bodes for everybody. So I hope, more than anything, that the administration gets this together and we get back on the path with China. I think it’s critical to the markets.
What do you have to say about Microsoft?
The entrepreneurs I talk to are highly aware of what he’s done and what he has achieved and the contrast that he’s brought to the company and how doubling down on the enterprise has really unlocked so much wealth and value.
What are your views about the Gig Economy?
It is two quick things on this. One, I hope that all regulators will take the time to understand that most of these drivers greatly value the freedom and flexibility to be able to work whenever and wherever they want. There is no job at Starbucks or McDonald’s where you can come on Monday and Tuesday and not show you Wednesday and Thursday. And that’s a feature of this job. And the second thing is, look, I spoke earlier about there being higher -- I actually have a report in front of me where a guy studied five different episodes of increased regulation and all the stocks went up in every case. And so it takes to scale to be able to get involved with government and adhere to the regulation. And so, oddly I don’t see it as a negative for this stock.