Letting the Captain Steer

by takingpitches

The best change this time around as described this week in the NYT:

“The early generation of Web companies is littered with examples of founders who backed down from the day-to-day responsibilities as their companies took off. Less than two years after Yahoo’s beginning, its founders Jerry Yang and David Filo hired Tim Koogle as chief executive. One year after eBay was founded, Pierre Omidyar hired Jeff Skoll to lead his company in 1996.
“In the past, a lot of the top venture capitalists thought founders were replaceable, or that they were best replaced,” said Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “It’s been a huge education.”
Mr. Breyer of Accel Partners recalled that when he first invested in Facebook, in 2005, several investors asked him who he thought should replace Mark Zuckerberg as chief executive. Today, those questions have largely receded, he said, as investors put a greater premium on the founder’s vision.
“In 2004, 2005, we saw that social applications and social networks were becoming absolutely central to the Web,” Mr. Breyer said. “The only founders who really understood the implications of how that would change, were founders who didn’t grow up with the very first generation of Internet companies.””

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