Thanking our founders

A few weeks back, we hosted our first ever Redpoint Off the Record event for a group of our closest founders and friends as a way to give back to this community who gives so much to us.  We feel honored to support such committed and ambitious entrepreneurs as they build world-changing companies.

We invited three distinguished friends that we hold dear to share some of their behind-the-scenes stories and advice; Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Amazon executive and Echo creator, David Limp, and Redpoint partner, Playground CEO and Android founder, Andy Rubin. The evening covered themes of building and motivating high performance teams, the importance of culture and what it’s like to evangelize a future that hasn’t been invented yet.

Steve talked about his approach to building and motivating a winning team and shared stories about the sports legends who inspired his own philosophy like Seahawks legend Pete Carrol.  This might be the first time Steve has spoken at a venture event here in the Valley, and given that basketball season is here, we were super excited that he made the time.

I’m obsessed with my Echo so it was a privilege to speak with Amazon’s David Limp, who leads the group that created the world’s first voice platform with Alexa and the Echo speaker.  I’m convinced this will be as important as the iPhone. One thing that stuck with me: David’s team came up with the idea for the Echo over five years ago, when the tech landscape looked entirely different. Most companies would’ve been daunted to predict so far in the future, but David’s team was unafraid to take risk, unafraid to fail. And that’s the culture of innovation that, we learned, Amazon fosters.

Our last speaker was Andy Rubin, a serial entrepreneur of ours, founder of Android and, more recently, founder and CEO of Playground Global.  I am always struck by how humble Andy is in spite of his success. He never fails to share credit with his team for achievements large and small, and he describes a genuine joy he finds in spending time with the next generation of entrepreneurs where he is constantly learning. He also shared a few funny stories about the early days at Android, when they were just eight people trying to pitch multibillion dollar corporations on their vision of an open source future.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back with this program next year and look forward to the times ahead.  Feel free to check out this short clip with some of the highlights.