Silicon Valley as we know may be coming to an end, says early PayPal employee and Yammer founder, David Sacks.
Last month, Sacks sold Yammer to Microsoft for $1.2 billion.
He declared the (potential) death of Silicon Valley on his Facebook wall, which sparked a debate from other players in the Valley including influential investor Marc Andreessen. (Disclosure: Andressen is one of Business Insider’s investors).
Sacks laid out four reasons for the death of the Valley and its startup culture. Now, in order for startups to be successful, Sacks says entrepreneurs must be able to do the following:
- Escape attention of major Internet companies (which Sacks says are better run than ever before)
- Launch and prove a business for ~ $5 million or less (the average seed plus Series A round)
- Find an idea that can be protected (patented) from big companies once they realise what you’re up to.
- Avoid patent lawsuits.
“How many ideas like that are left?” he asks.
Andreessen’s answer to Sacks: “An infinite number — human creativity is limitless — which doesn’t make it easy, but does mean the opportunity is unending,” he writes.
Investors Mark Suster and Shervin Pishevar chimed in too. Pishevar sided with Andreessen.
“As technology and innovation continue to spread to all 7 billion people on this planet, especially via mobile, human creativity continues push the boundless boundaries ahead of us,” Shervin writes. “There are growth opportunities for big companies and momentarily small startups.”
TechCrunch found Sacks’ post last night; there were 55 comments and 47 likes on it this morning.
Here’s the full screen grab of the debate.
Photo: Facebook via David Sacks