More on Investment Theses: Sequoia Wins on Brevity

Thanks to Mike Arrington for his timely post on Sequoia Capital’s Elements of Sustainable Companies. While my own list of investment heuristics is a little more modest in its ambitions, theirs covers many of the same topics while winning hands-down on brevity. My personal favorites from the list include:

Rich Customers
Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.

Pain Killers
Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

And, saving the best for last:


Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.

It can be debated how well each of their portfolio companies have modeled all the characteristics they list, but you can’t argue with their returns.