peHUB First Read

Cofee* Chinese investors, entrepreneurs on Google: “Just quit. We don’t care.”

* Age bias in Silicon Valley: Sequoia Capital’s Doug Leone reportedly said that his firm “focuses on younger entrepreneurs because people over 30 aren’t innovative.” But don’t worry if you’re a Sequoia senior citizen. You still might make a decent manager.

* Yesterday we sold more than 270 tickets to our next peHUB Shindig, which is taking place on February 3 in New York City. Get yours here.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures mixed ahead of Intel earnings, London rises early, European shares climb on banks and miners, the Nikkei rebounds and Hong Kong takes a minor dip. Also, President Obama today will propose a fee on major financial firms to protect taxpayers from future bailout losses.

* BlackRock president Robert Kapito sees stronger emerging markets ahead.

* ValleyWag is offering $100k to anyone who can smuggle them an Apple tablet for an hour.

* Derek Thompson argues that 2008 was the year entrepreneurship died. Great headline, but the underlying facts are questionable. Thompson assets that the greatest area for entrepreneurial growth over the next decade will be cleantech. Let’s give him that. But he then asserts that investment in the sector is “falling off a cliff.” For evidence, he cites at Economist story about how big energy companies have reduced R&D and investment spend. He then conflates those numbers with VC investment in the sector, even though VC cleantech investment hit a record level in 2008 (not mentioned). He also doesn’t note that VCs actually backed more cleantech companies in 2009 than in 2008 (or 2007) — the total dollars were down, but that was largely because VCs have cut back of cap-heavy projects like renewable energy production and doubled-up on IT-enabled cleantech efforts like smart grid infrastructure.

* Mike Hischland: We’re entering the data decade

* Tom Friedman isn’t ready to follow Jim Chanos’ bearish advice on China.


  • Interesting comment from Leone at Sequoia – at least he’s honest on the subject of age bias. Many VC’s share that weird mentality, and then act surprised when the founders waste their moeny and build little value.

    Why the bias, then?

    – Young founders are gullible and easily manipulated
    – Young founders can easily be replaced when the time is right
    – Young founders will accept poorer financing terms and earn-outs than their older and wiser counterparts

    It’s sad, really. VC’s say they build ‘long term relationships’ with founders. In fact, they destroy relationships in favor of favorable terms on individual transactions.

  • I’d like to read the “Age Bias in Silicon Valley ” article, but the shortcut doesn’t work. Can you help us find the article?

  • Sequoia is essentially finished with Valentine approaching senility and Lamond gone. Those were the only two smart people there. The rest were hangers on for the ride.

  • No offense Joe , but Leone and Moritz also have pretty good returns, however I don’t think that the two of them are fully engaged and the rest of the firm are hanger ons.

  • Oh come on guys, there are tons of younger stars in the making at Sequoia like Botha, McAdoo, and Schreier.

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