I interviewed Joshua Green, General Partner Mohr Davidow @NVCA Venturescape. He came to Silicon Valley 32 years ago as a lawyer. He built 2 law firms to 120 lawyers each over time & then took a radical departure & became a basketball coach at the high school level for 8 years (& that would be the greatest startup that he’s ever worked with). He joined Mohr Davidow Ventures in 2006 & focused on investing in clean technology. He focuses on ‘change the world companies’: innovation & energy in industrial sectors. It reminds him very much of what the valley was like back in 1980 when IT took on companies like IBM & Burroughs to change the world within that sector. It seems he is most excited about the transformational aspect of venture capital & startups. “Working with entrepreneurs & working on the kinds of technologies that are truly going to change the way people live is truly a remarkable experience for me!” Examples are Yahoo in the mid to late 90’s. He thinks they lost the plot because they attempted to become a media company when in fact in those days on the internet they were in fact still a search company. They outsourced their searching to Google & as a result were not at the leadership level to really create the best search experience. He thinks Marissa Mayer has done an amazing job in starting to bring back & refocus the company on the core elements of what they’re truly great at. He spoke about the changes that are happening in the venture industry including the JOBs Act. He spoke about when the President signed the bill that the maintenance crews had trouble finding the President’s desk because it had been so long since he had signed a bill that they had forgotten where they put it. The venture industry needs to take small capitalization stocks & create robust markets around them. These include steps like decimalization (larger tick sizes) so that brokers can make some more money. (They don’t lose money by trading in small capitalization stocks.) Along with encouraging research reports on the sales sides & also creating institutional investors that can actually get in & get out of stocks so that they’re liquid. So there’s a lot more work to do to make that really effective. NVCA needs to catalyze another task force together to look at this in a very equal manner, to get all the participants involved just like they did with the JOBS Act. Then bring them all together around a single purpose which is to create robust small cap markets for trading.
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