Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures Explains the Importance of Twitter and the State of Venture Capitalism

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Answers by Keith Rabois, Internet entrepreneur, investor & contrarian. General Partner, Khosla Ventures, on Quora.

I wouldn't describe it as "bad" or "good." Instead VCs have reverted to more traditional standards and diligence in evaluating new investments whereas the last 2-3 years have been anomalous.
In practice, however, this translates to a very difficult period for entrepreneurs to raise series B and C rounds, particularly those companies without proven revenue generation, high burn rates, poor marginal economics or previously rounds that were priced for perfection.


A: Twitter has more influence on society than any other social product. Ultimately, this ability to change the world, change the law, change the government will create real value.
Despite Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms, it is only Twitter that has the opportunity to be the future's "paper of record." It also eliminates the power of gatekeepers to news, opinion which is dramatically changing the world already.


A: Venture capitals historically have been the "entrepreneurs behind the entrepreneurs" (quoting Sequoia) with a disposition to match. Specifically, venture capitals were usually nearly invisible to normal Americans and adverse to a high profile. It was primarily a cottage industry that preferred obscurity.
But over the last 5 years, VCs compete increasingly via marketing, whether in the traditional media, blogs, Twitter, reddit, Medium, Quora. A16z mastered this and everyone else is learning to compete on that score.
Second, the transparency in the arcane process of raising capital has meaningfully improved the ability of new entrepreneurs to understand their choices, options and trade-offs.
Third, during the last five years most VCs have been chasing high caliber entrepreneurs whereas through most of history, entrepreneurs have been chasing high quality VCs.

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