Sequoia’s Bryan Schreier And Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith Talk Dollars And ‘Sense’ Disrupt SF

At this year’s Disrupt SF event, Sequoia’s Bryan Schreier and Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith will make a co-appearance. I’m hosting the duo.

Schreier is best known for his early investment in Dropbox, the popular cloud storage service. The venture capitalist been on the board there for more than seven years. Smith is a co-founder at Qualtrics, a Utah-based shop founded in 2002.

In the past few years, Qualtrics has raised $220 million, after starting its life as a bootstrapped operation. So, something changed.

The two join us at a pivotal moment in technology. Qualtrics likely has no capital concerns. Its most recent raise, totaling $150 million, was locked down just under a year ago in September 2014. I doubt that it has used all the cash.

Still, Qualtrics is a unicorn and Schreier is an investor in the category both at the beginning — as we’ve seen — and closer to the end. That, and the fact that Smith managed to build something so valuable outside of Silicon Valley are all facts worthy of discussion.

In the era of high burn rates, when the concept of profits is merely praying to the false god of slower growth, Qualtrics is a diverting company. I’ll dig into how it managed to not raise capital for so long and why it decided to take on a small ocean’s worth of the stuff in short order.

And we’ll press Schreier on the question of climate. Are things upside down, or are we merely sitting through a bout of turbulence? We will find out. See you all next week.

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