“That will never work”

MG wrote a post yesterday about scoffing in the technology world. It’s a great read, especially going into the new iPhone and “iWatch” launch today.

It also reminded me of all the scoffing I’ve heard in my time as an investor these 9+ years. Things like: 

“User generated content can’t compete with professional content”

“Advertisers won’t put their ad next to user generated content”

“You can’t build a big company outside of Silicon Valley”

“You can’t hire great engineers in San Francisco”

“You can’t build a big business around photographs”

“We wanted flying cars and all we got were 140 characters”

“Digital goods are a fad”

“Social networks are a fad”

“Startups can’t build hardware”

“Why would someone want a blog”

“You can’t compete with Facebook”

“Nobody cares about virtual reality”

“You can’t build a real company with a $15k seed” (in reference to all the early scoffing about YC in the early days)

“You can’t build a big company in the music space”

“You can’t build a big company if you don’t charge for your software”

“Bitcoin will never work”

“You can’t build a big open source company”

It is a helpful reminder why I love this industry. 

That Snapchat offer

There seems to be a lot of folks paying attention to Snapchat rejecting Facebook’s $3B offer.

Loosely speaking I’ve seen negative sentiments like

“This means Facebook is in trouble”

“I knew it, we are in a bubble”

“The Snapchat founders are nuts”

I don’t think it’s any of those things.

Consider Facebook’s stock is pretty high right now. They are flush with cash, profitable and can easily afford $3B for a leader in this new emerging market. And kudos to Zuck and co for taking bold moves. Their purchase of Instagram was extremely smart. This was a sensible offer, not one from desperation.

It is reasonable to assume that the Snapchat founders have already taken out millions of dollars in secondary sales of their stock. They are not risking losing it all, instead they are going for it.

I like this tweet by Aaron Levie. In less than 140 characters he summed it all up nicely.

Snapchat’s future is up to them. They have to do a lot of things right. But they have an opportunity to build a big, important company.