Sequoia Capital’s Doug Leone: on YCombinator, Instagram & Other VCs

We have co-opted seed funds. You know, Y Combinator, that was completely our money. We have secret handshakes with a whole bunch of people. Very dangerous, because word gets out that so-and-so’s money is Sequoia’s money, that would not be a good thing.

This is complete warfare. You have to have the Green Berets in the back line, you have to take the frontal approach, you have to do seeds, you have to do investments. You have to be willing to risk things, otherwise somebody else will put you out of business.

[Instagram] sold completely prematurely. A billion dollars sounded great to the founders. Imagine what Instagram could be. It could be the next Facebook on the mobile phone.”

Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital shares his thoughts on the VC business.

So that’s why BufferBox is so hot

Amazon is increasing the speed with which it is rolling out its Lockers across the country by partnering with retailers such as Staples and RadioShack. That attention is helping lift the fortunes of startups that want to take on Amazon — BufferBox being one of them.

Vidyard raises $1.65M to get enterprise videos online

Startup Vidyard has raised $1.65 million in an effort to grow its platform for enterprise video distribution. The company hopes to take on existing companies like Brightcove and Ooyala as a way to manage, measure and monetize videos that businesses put on the Internet.

Paul Graham’s Y Combinator, six years later

Paul Graham started Y Combinator, his unique blend of start-up school and incubator in 2005 and since then has spawned quite a quite a few well known names such as Dropbox, Justin.tv and Airbnb. Here is a video that looks at YC and its impact.

Meet Capital Factory’s 5 graduating startups

Austin’s answer to TechStars or YCombinator shows off its graduating class of startups today (plus 15 other companies) as the third year of the Capital Factory accelerator program comes to a close. I went out last week to interview the startups to get readers the scoop.

Table for Two and a Tablet, Please

Friends were skeptical when E la Carte founder Rajat Suri dropped out of MIT to become a waiter — for research. Two years, later, his startup seeks to tame the “chaotic environment” of a restaurant with features designed to streamline tasks for customers and staff.

Anatomy of a Failure: Lessons From the Death of NewsTilt

NewsTilt, a media startup that launched in April, shut down just two months later. Co-founder Paul Biggar has written an analysis of why it collapsed so quickly, and his post contains some useful lessons — not just for media-related startups, but for startups of all kinds.

Xing Founder Tries Euro Twist on Y Combinator Model

Lars Hinrichs, who founded the European social network Xing, has launched a new startup fund/incubator called HackFwd, which calls itself a “pre-seed investment company.” But some say the fund’s asking price is too high: 27 percent of a startup’s equity in return for an initial investment.

What You Should Read Today

From a comparison of auto and PC industries to problems associated with the location-based advertising to tips & tricks of reading startup term sheets — here is a selection of five articles to read. And after you are done, check out Hitchhiker’s guide to financial regulation.

Entrepreneurial Stereotypes on Display at SXSW

Picture a tech startup founder. Are they male, maybe around 27 years old, and a resident of Silicon Valley? Apparently that’s what it takes to build a tech startup according to the explicit and implicit wisdom shared at the Seed Combinator’s panel today at SXSW.