Today, during our TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Mike Arrington and Erick Schonfeld sat down with LinkedIn founder (and investor) Reid Hoffman and Greylock’s David Sze to talk a bit about investing. The big news was that Greylock was giving Hoffman a new $20 million seed fund. But the duo had some other interesting things to say.
When Mike asked how both Sze and Hoffman missed out on investing in Twitter, both expressed regret in that. Hoffman said that he wasn’t an investor in Odeo (the podcasting company that originally gave birth to Twitter) so he didn’t really have an “in”. But Sze noted that he had looked at Twitter a number of times — “I made a mistake,” he said.
Sze said that Greylock, like everyone else, has their “Wall of Shame” and Twitter is definitely on there. At the same time, he said that everyone can’t bat 100 percent.
Erick noted that Mike didn’t realize what Twitter would become either, so it was okay. They launched the company without really knowing what it would become. Sze agreed and noted that even LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pandora were initially seen as silly companies that wouldn’t be good investments.
The moral? Sometimes, you just never know.
Greylock partners with entrepreneurs to help them build market-leading businesses. Over the past 45 years the firm has worked with hundreds of companies, 150 of which have gone on to IPOs and 100 of which have gone on to profitable M&A events. Such companies include Ascend Communications, CheckFree, CipherTrust, Constant Contact, Continental Cable, Decru, Data Domain, DoubleClick, Farecast, Internet Security Systems, Ikanos, Legato, Media Metrix, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Openwave, Open Market, OutlookSoft, Polyserve, Red Hat, RightNow Technologies, Success Factors, Tellabs,...
Created in 2006, Twitter is a global real-time communications platform with 400 million monthly visitors to twitter.com, more than 200 million monthly active users around the world. We see a billion tweets every 2.5 days on every conceivable topic. World leaders, major athletes, star performers, news organizations and entertainment outlets are among the millions of active Twitter accounts through which users can truly get the pulse of the planet.