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“Entrepreneurs Will Look at Silicon Valley And See Sell-outs” Says Investor Chamath Palihapitiya

Collision Conference - Las Vegas - May 13-14

Venture capitalist and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya took the Collision Conference main stage and quickly shared a major concern that Silicon Valley is becoming predictable. 

The founder of the investment company, The Social+Capital Partnership, said today that investors “need to be passionate.”

During his interview on stage, Palihapitiya was adamant about investors losing passion, and especially the consequences this loss has on the companies in which they choose to invest. “Money is like oxygen to startups. If we become predictable, great companies will not be built,” he said.

He argued that in the 90s, founders and companies couldn’t map anything definable that could lead to success. Therefore, they had the ability to be more creative. When you look back to the 70s and 90s, you think of companies and founders. All those founders, they didn’t map anything definable. Furthermore, Silicon Valley prides itself on not confining to traditional career paths, like getting an MBA or studying in specific universities.

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“I am afraid that we threw away the regular boxes and we’ve replaced them quietly with a new set of boxes: like incubators, knowing certain coding languages, and receiving funding from certain investors,” said Palihapitiya.

Entrepreneurs and investors have built a new set of rules that may inhibit innovation.

“It seems like the next great company will come out of a place like Las Vegas,” Palihapitiya said, rather than Silicon Valley because “great entrepreneurs will look at Silicon Valley and see a bunch of sell-outs.”

When asked about who he believes is the next tech iconoclast, Palihapitiya said he has not met the person just yet, but he believes it’s because “rules are still being written,” which means the opportunity to rise is not opportune just yet. Could it be Palihapitiya? He says he prefers to be the next “Brown Buffett.”

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About the Author

Camila is a writer and community manager for Tech Cocktail in Miami. She has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she co-founded a communication strategy company called pFunk Media. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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