Sequoia's Roelof Botha, feels that Singapore has come a long way and it's our obligation to uphold the standards of Singapore's forefathers. So says a man who repeatedly finds himself in the top 30 on Forbes' annual Midas List, which ranks the top individual investors at the major venture capital firms.
Botha, famed for talent-spotting social media superstars like YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram (while they were still in their infancy) goes on to caution us against trying to create a carbon copy of Silicon Valley in Singapore. What we ought to be doing instead, he says, is learning from its lessons.
What are some traits that all founders have in common? They tend to be non conformists and problem solvers. None of them asked for permission before trying something new and none of them played by the rules.
When growing a startup, you need more than just a great idea. You need repeated founding moments - a potent yet elusive combination of talent, synergy and raw determination that seems to gradually erode away as the company grows, acquires more wealth and gets more successful. It's these repeated founding moments that makes all the difference between an organisation that's merely good and one that's undeniably great.
What are some characteristics of enduring companies? One is frugality, as exemplified by tech startup Kayak.com, which earlier on, raised $196 million in investor financing to buy over a competitor - and just five years later got itself acquired for $1.8 billion. Another is tenacity. When AirBnB first started, it was met with a tidal wave of skepticism but it kept going and today, merely six years after launching, stands at a valuation of $10 billion.