Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers this week officially opened the doors to a brand new office in the heart of San Francisco. It’s interesting news from the now 40-year-old venture capital firm, because Kleiner Perkins has always been so strongly associated with the iconic Sand Hill Road stretch in Menlo Park, some 40 miles south of the city.
Sand Hill Road will continue to be Kleiner Perkins’ homebase, of course, but the placement of the new office — the firm’s only other office space here in the United States — is just the latest evidence of a shift in tech industry power from the suburban Silicon Valley region up to the urban center of San Francisco.
So we stopped by Kleiner Perkins’ housewarming party in San Francisco last night to get a look at the new digs and hear a bit more about the space. While there, we were able to pull aside Kleiner Perkins partner Chi-Hua Chien, who had some interesting things to say about the tech scene in San Francisco as well as the state of the industry overall.
You can watch our whole talk in the video embedded above. I particularly liked hearing his insights on the state of the IPO market, which some people are saying is less attractive to startups now because of the disappointing stock market performances of some newly public web companies. Chien’s opinion is that startups should not take recent events as a lesson to shy away from the public markets altogether — instead, they should actually move into them at an earlier stage:
“I actually have a contrarian view relative to what’s been talked about a lot. I think all of those companies [with lackluster recent IPOs] went public way too late. They went public after most of the growth was out of those companies. The right time for a company to go public is when you are at sufficient scale, kind of over $100 million in revenue, but you’re still growing very very quickly so that public market investors can enjoy the fruits of that growth.
What happened with a lot of those companies was they grew, grew, grew, grew through very large private financing rounds, and by the time they went public they were growing pretty slowly. They were growing slower than Google and Apple in some cases. And the public market doesn’t like that.”
We also had the chance to chat with Megan Quinn, who joined Kleiner this past summer after heading up product at Square. You can catch our talk with her about her first few months as a VC and her views on app design in the second half of the video above.