Jim Breyer Doesn’t Think More IPOs Are The Answer

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The Tick-Tock: When Big Names Leave, Who Wins?

Jim Breyer is one of the few venture capitalists in Silicon Valley who loves investing in media companies. (He was on the board of Marvel, and now is an investor and board member of Legendary Pictures, producer of such hits as The Dark Knight, 300, and Inception—he sits on the board of News Corp as well). In the video interview above, which took place at the Techonomy conference last week, we continue our discussion of media investments (watch Part I). “One of my first investments was Tetris,” Breyer tells me.

But media companies have to rethink the way they connect with consumers. In regards to the current media incumbents, he acknowledged onstage at Techonomy, “It is so rapidly deteriorating in terms of the economics.” They need to think about how they will deliver their products online through social media, and create lasting relationships with their audience.

Towards the middle of the clip, I ask Breyer what he thinks about the current IPO market and whether he agrees with Steve Case, who argues that we need more IPOs to create more jobs—“90% of job growth is after a company goes public.”

Breyer disagrees with Case that IPOs are the answer. At About the 2:35 mark, he says that the IPO process could be made a little bit easier, but ushering in a flood of IPOs could cause more problems than it solves. ” What I would never want to see is a repeat of when public companies were created twice a day and investors lost 80% of their money,” he cautions.

Breyer thinks it’s better to keep access to IPOs more selective and “make it a high bar.” He adds, “There really is no rush. At the same time I am a big believer that the greatest challenge for an entrepreneur is to build a sustainable company that matters.” And that usually means going public instead of selling to another company.