The Founders Age
Since the beginning of invention, humanity has advanced because the remarkable have pushed us forward. Because select women and men of their times have dared to think different, to build it better, to do what’s never been done. Across the ages, we’ve had many names for these people. Today, at Foundation Capital: we call them founders.
We back individuals who want to nudge the world ahead in some way, using a transformative business as their fulcrum. Great companies, like Apple or Amazon or Netflix, aren’t formed from code and corporate charters. They’re built on a foundation of dreams and desires; raised up through struggle and sacrifice. For such companies to succeed, their founders have to want success badly. It has to come from the deepest part of them—a hunger to create something consequential, something lasting; a need to prove themselves, whether out of a sense of mission, or a yearning for significance, or a heart full for disobedience. We look for founders who believe—even if they would never speak it out loud—that the purpose of life is to be briefly extraordinary.
But ambition alone won’t get you there. Smart is not sufficient. A clever idea is rarely clever enough. And pedigree does not mean prepared for the rigors of startup life. Standing an idea up and willing it into a billion-dollar business is a mad undertaking. The founder’s job isn’t just marketing, or product, or sales—the founder’s job is to build an entire company, which never happens in a straight line. That’s why the mark in our logo isn’t an F, it’s the Kryptonian symbol for “resilience.” Because there will be countless days of rejection, derision, overwork, exhaustion, loneliness, and defeat. The entrepreneurs we fund—sometimes based on little more than an audacious idea—have to have the superhuman grit to stand up from every fall, sweep the dirt off, and say to themselves, “Is that all you’ve got?”
Finding individuals who possess/are possessed by these qualities is an epiphany for us. And journeying with them—from founder to CEO, from idea to IPO—is why Foundation Capital exists. If there’s a sense of accomplishment that you’ve been searching for all your life, if you have inside of you the determination and vision to create a generationally important company—then this is your time: the Founders Age. Let’s get to work.