Faith and Struggle

By editor on January 28, 2018 — 1 min read

We made fundamental mistakes in the execution of [Better]. It is a business that people love, and want. Unfortunately, we could not get it funded. We poured $10 million into this thing. We signed deals with all these payers, we had thousands of subs, but it’s crickets chirping when we were raising capital. We were flabbergasted.

I think it’s a scary business and it’s capital intensive. It’ll take a lot of money to scale. You’re dealing with people, and very sensitive things that relate to those people.

I get it: there’s complexity, but there’s also value and these beautiful things that are happening because you’re actually giving them a service that they actually need. These people are suffering in the world and nobody’s helping them. So let’s just use some fucking software to help them.

But you trumpet up and down Sandhill, and it’s not what they want to hear. And you see the shit that gets funded and you’re like, “What is going on?!” It doesn’t make any sense to me.

We struggled, we struggled, and we struggled.

This is about long-term greedy and short-term greedy. This is a business that is, in my opinion, the epitome of long-term greedy.

Syapse is another example. Those guys couldn’t get funded for two years. We funded them within two weeks of meeting them.

That’s a business that took three years to get through an 18 month trial at Intermountain. That’s going to be a huge company, long-term greedy.

Glooko almost went out of business. Three years, multiple FDA reviews, multiple FDA approvals, couldn’t get funded by other people. We had to recap it once, we had to fund it personally. Long-term greedy: they’re winning.

In all these cases, it tells us that we have to stand up and put in more money or just draw a hard line and just believe. (24:00)

Posted in: Long-term Greedy

Editor's Note

These are Chamath Palihapitiya's words. They are probably some of the best thoughts on VC, business, and life, but were scattered around the Internet. They live now in this archive.