29 Jan 2020

By Sir Michael Moritz, Patrick Collison

3-min read

Patience: A VC’s Unlikely Ally

Big, transformative ideas, a clear investment horizon and the discipline to see it through, as well as vision – these are all key ingredients for building successful VCs and companies. The article below presents key insights from a fireside chat between renowned technology investor and author Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital and leading entrepreneur Patrick Collison, who founded global payments platform Stripe, as they discuss global trends, innovation, investments and leadership.

The technology leitmotif of today

“The ability to see 20 to 30 years down the line.”

“With a long-enough timeframe, everything is possible.”

That’s what sets the best investors and start-up founders apart from the pack, and the leitmotif of Silicon Valley’s major VCs, and the companies they invest in. The Bay Area is rooted in an infectious optimism that absolutely everything is possible, a quality apparent in thriving technology firms globally.

Technology firms such as Apple, Facebook, and Google dominate Silicon Valley’s corporate landscape today. The question is: Will these same firms continue to lead the industry 10 to 20 years from now?

Disruptors of tomorrow

As the role of computing continues to extend its reach in everyday life, the possibilities it enables are likely to be bigger than before. This applies to ideas that will create the next generation of technology leaders and they are likely to be beyond the walls of today’s technology giants. If history has taught us one thing in the space of innovation, it is that successful companies of tomorrow tend not to fit in today’s pigeonholes. Stripe, Airbnb, and YouTube are firms who have formed their own niche categories and have gone on to lead them, even if the industry had not conceived of them before.

Yet, beyond new categories and companies, we are also contending with new geographies that are attempting to rival the dominance of Silicon Valley, or the US more broadly. Setting aside Sino-China tensions, one has to acknowledge the tremendous progress China has made in technology in recent years – today, it has a BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) that is not dissimilar to the US’ FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google / Alphabet).

Leading VCs have also ventured outside to look for the technology companies of the future, making large investments in China, India, and Southeast Asia.

Getting there: patience a virtue

Across geographies VCs are seeking companies with a clear long-term vision. This has been a hallmark of Silicon Valley where successful companies have been given the runway to scale and innovate. This requires long-term, disciplined investors who are able and willing to see beyond typical short-term time horizons, not an easy feat given technology’s ever-quickening strides and cycles. Ultimately, technology companies do not spring up overnight, so VCs need to think, act and plan in longer term increments.

Did the panelists have one piece of advice to start-up founders and investors today?

“Patience, because it will happen. You just need a long-term view.”

Let's connect


    How can we address you?

    Please key in a valid name

    What organisation are you from?

    Please key in a valid company name

    Hello inputname, what is your topic of enquiry?
    Bridge Forum
    Meet Our Companies
    General Enquiry
    Thanks for that. Are there any specific areas of interest you’d like us to explore?

    Please key in your message

    And finally, how can we reach you, inputname?
    Thanks for connecting with us. We’ll be in touch!