Interesting thoughts from Marc Andreessen and Steve Case. Of course, a cynic would say they are talking their book since they make money when companies exit or IPO. However, I see some things happening that might bear out their opinion.
1. Government regulation has come down on corporate America like a ton of bricks. Budgets, resources, and people are being redeployed to fend of, implement and understand the regulatory state. This has made it almost impossible for corporate America to innovate from within.
2. Corporate balance sheets are in pretty darn good shape. They have taken advantage of low interest rates and they are flush with cash. They can buy innovation, and they are starting to do it.
If you listen to the video, you hear questions like, “Which way will it go?”, or “We have 163 Unicorns, what will happen?”. Truth be told, nobody knows. Instead, I think the best advice for startups that came out of this was when Steve Case said, “Build a great company that can last.”
In pitches, founders will always get asked about exits. If you build a great company, the exit sort of takes care of itself. If you find yourself forcing an exit, usually you are doing it at a price you don’t want to exit at. Building a company for a flip is never a good idea.
Building a sustainable business that solves problems for customers is always a good idea.