Bill Gurley on Tech Markets, Capital Markets, and VC

Bill Gurley was a "blogging VC" before anyone else with his Above The Crowd newsletter back in the 90s. That has become the Above The Crowd blog. I've always been a huge fan of Bill's and whenever I read something he has written or said, I find myself nodding my head. He sees the venture business in the same way I do. And he sees markets pretty similarly too.

Bill did an interview with Business Insider recently and he said a bunch of things that are important and which I agree with. Do yourself a favor and go read it.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Really good read.He touches on the discovery process and the mesh of graphs to connect with customers and early communities. He calls it the interest graph, I find myself thinking of this also in terms of interest footprints and passion graphs.Both VCs and marketers are in sync it appears that discovery, implicitly or explicitly, is the center of gravity to make the web more actionable.Need to do a shout out to fellow avc’er William Mougayar and his eqentia product. It’s letting me discover info (including this piece) a lot faster than any other tool I’m using.

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Arnold. Targeted discovery well done offers additional value beyond serendipitous discovery which social media already does well. The “interest graph” is as good as what the graph’s connections can do. It’s from the “graph” part that the most fascinating value is bound to emerge.

  2. Tom Labus

    He always lead with good songs too!!

  3. Dave W Baldwin

    Very good read.Over the next couple of years, people will need to start looking at these companies in a different light compared to what is implied via headlines today.Advertisements will have to become more than like is made fun of today, e.g.,  TexasVC (Aziz Gilani) saying assumes he speaks Spanish and loves booze.  That in addition to ads placed from companies without a marketable product taking up such an incredible %.The companies trying to claim world stage are going to have to figure out marketing and the terrain we are in offering the most wonderful opportunities.  Currently we have a mindset of people thinking marketing is walking up and down the main thoroughfare having to take control of that one community… but fact is we are in the age of mobile and everyone can sell anything to anyone, anywhere.That said, @fredwilson:disqus is right about the filters, for the product with the filter able to multitask providing the smoothest interface at lowest OH will win.  That’s because it comes down to bringing in the revenue that is true profit and the higher your true profit affords the comfort zone in looking offers of M&A.

  4. Steve Hallock

    Twitter is by far my most used service and most enjoyed.  A good understanding of who and what I’m interested in on Twitter would allow for the most targeted marketing of anything I’ve been a part of.

  5. William Mougayar

    Money quotes for me:1) “We’ve spent the past 40 years putting technology inside the enterprise and we’re going to spend the next 20 years ripping it out.” I like that. I agree. I’m seeing it, living it, and selling it.2) “…the top 10 tech companies have $350 billion in cash. They ought to be going crazy. But for various reasons each of them independently aren’t.” This is mind-boggling. Bill Gurley is implying they aren’t doing it to keep that money for defensive reasons. But even if they carved out 10% and said we’re going to go crazy with $35 billion to invest in companies that improve/support our ecosystem- that would be a breakthrough.

    1. fredwilson

      the two money quotes for me are reblogged at

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks. I saw it later. One of them was the same as mine. This reminds me- I need to use Tumblr more often. I could have Tumbled that Infographic which had 184 notes from yours, but missed that opportunity for social juice.@awaldstein:twitter : new buzzword “social juice”.

        1. fredwilson

          i got 184 social interactions on your infographic!

          1. William Mougayar

            I know! I got zilch. Next time, I’ll post on Tumblr first, then have you re-blog.

          2. fredwilson

            that’s right

      2. JamesHRH

        the money quote for me is ‘a really smart trade by Yuri Milner’.SO many people want to be players in early stage financing but are totally out of alignment with the role……they have the StockTwits trading gene.

  6. kenberger

    BillG was the very first VC I got to know. In 2000, he proclaimed WiFi as “the next big thing”, we got together and discussed the landscape (which was treacherous), and have exchanged now and then ever since.He is a literal pain in my neck though because he is 6 foot 9 ! We *all* look up to him.

    1. fredwilson

      i look up to him too ken

    2. JamesHRH

      No wonder he worked at Hummer Winblad…….he saw eye to eye with the boss;-)

  7. John

    Funny thing he “forgot” to mention he has a Groupon clone in his portfolio: Peixe Urbano (Brazil)…

    1. fredwilson


  8. Dale Allyn

    Excellent read, Fred. Thanks for pointing to it. Bill always presents a pretty sane and practical view of things, in my opinion.

  9. Alarm Istallation

    That was an excellent one!!!Alarm Installer

  10. paramendra

    “First time we are seeing him.” (Movie: Heat)

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