Get Our Newsletter

Tech Cocktail

Ali Partovi Tells Startups to Maximize Risk


Ali Partovi knows about risk, particularly when it comes to running a startup. He is a well-known angel investor and startup advisor, having invested in and advised tech companies like Dropbox and OPOWER. Besides the risks associated with investing, Partovi also has experienced the risks in starting and running his own companies, cofounding and serving as CEO of iLike in the late 2000s (until it was acquired by MySpace in 2009) as well as LinkExchange (prior to being acquired by Microsoft in 1998).

When it comes to startups, Partovi believes that risk is the primary advantage that entrepreneurs have over their competition. This is especially essential when the primary competition is made up of large, well-established companies. In the case of Dropbox – the San Francisco-based file hosting/networking company – it must compete with the likes of Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Google’s Drive, and Apple’s iCloud.

According to Partovi, startups should be maximizing their risks rather than reducing them. Larger, more-established companies have a lot more to lose if they play it too risky. This inability to pursue such risk closes companies off from untested innovations or new opportunities – and these are the areas where startups can take advantage.

In pursuing risk, Partovi advises startups to produce disruptive ideas rather than merely incremental ideas. Rather than, say, coming up with a new idea that could make the travel industry 10 percent more profitable (which isn’t risky enough, and could easily be adopted by larger competitors), startups should aim for disrupting the industry in which they operate (e.g., Airbnb and the hotel industry).

Startup super power: risky behavior. Duly noted.

Here’s the video:

Tech Cocktail Week is a monthly series of events that takes place downtown Las Vegas and is produced in partnership with Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project.

Subscribe to Tech Cocktail Conversations on iTunes and never miss one – badge_itunes-sm
Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!
Get Our Newsletter
Sorry about that. Try these articles instead!
About the Author'

Email Ronald ([email protected]) or tweet @RonaldPBarba || Ronald Barba is a staff writer and assistant editor for Tech.Co. Formerly based in D.C., he now lives in NYC. He reports on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, looking at startup communities like Boston, Chicago, D.C., NYC, and everything in between. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in philosophy, cognitive science, politics, social justice, pop culture, and all things geek. He reads Murakami and Barthes, and alternates binge watch sessions of 'Doctor Who' and 'The Mindy Project'. Subscribe to me on Facebook. Find me on Google.


One Response to “Ali Partovi Tells Startups to Maximize Risk”


  1.  Aurelio Espinosa Polit | Parrett Trucking
  2.  Interior Spanish | Go A Strategies
  3.  Jean Claude Trichet | Pure Flash
  4.  Spanish Episcopal Conference | Carnahan Conference
  5.  Weight Loss | PolyGraphex
  6.  Technical Deficiencies | Page Crazy
  7.  High Commission | Mauricio Featherman
  8.  Anyone Reader | SynTec Networks
  9.  RSS Design | Cyber Millenium
  10.  Urbanism | Softek Systems
  11.  Ciudad Deportiva | Link Information Systems
  12.  Burberry Scarf | BB Squad
  13.  TNG Industries » Blog Archive » Egyptian Tarot
  14.  Raymond Williams | Bullet Files
  15.  Job Opportunities | Stevensons Rocket
  16.  Computer Science Disruption – The Hour of Code is coming… | Destin Layne
  17.  Utility Of Barcodes | Wireless Concept

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)