The best investors are learners rather than teachers. Micro venture capitalist Chris Sacca is one of Silicon Valley’s most thoughtful learners – a former lawyer and failed entrepreneur, once Head of Special Initiatives at Google, an early investor in Twitter with his own 1.3 million person following, a 2009 TechCrunch Crunchie Award nomination for Best Angel Investor, an Obama insider and activist, a keen bicyclist and skier, and the owner of the most colorful collection of cowboy shirts in the Valley.
I first met Chris a couple of years ago at the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford, an event in which the best minds of the Valley educate Oxford students about technology innovation and business creativity. What I liked about him then, as now, was his pugnacious humility, his very vivid memories of failure and poverty, his uniquely American optimism, and his unashamed commitment to global social justice.
The Wall Street Journal cited Sacca as “possibly the most influential businessman in America”. But what they forgot to add was that he’s also amongst the most provocative businessman in this country – a perennial start-up guy who can cram more ideas into a five minute interview than most corporate execs can come up with in a lifetime.
Part One: Sacca on what Obama learnt from Google, on the under-definition of the Presidential campaign, and on what the President now needs to learn from his diverse followers.
Part Two: Sacca on radical under-definition, on community innovation, on why @ev is one or two steps ahead of everyone else, and on what Twitter can learn from Google.
Part Three: Sacca on solving end user problems, on what Google needs to learn, and on whether Google might get social by buying Facebook or Twitter.
Part Four: Sacca on Africa and Oxford, on why being worldly makes you a better entrepreneur, on the bold humility of the best entrepreneurs, and on what Silicon Valley can teach the rest of the world.
Part Five Sacca on the disappearance of the barriers to creativity, on investing in URLs rather than ideas, on why small ideas are more valuable than big ones, and on why the future is mobile.
Watch previous episodes of Keen On here.