The oral history of Silicon Valley VCs

A friend of mine recently discovered this archive of interview transcripts of many of Silicon Valley’s seminal venture capitalists.

Considering most of the guys on this list started their respective firms before the widespread adoption of the internet, I think it’s pretty cool to think about how this stuff was documented. In many cases, some of the details are much more intimate as a result of being recounted in a more informal fashion.  

Don Valentine (founder of Sequoia Capital) doesn’t keep a blog or have a Facebook page, but he did sit down and orally recount much of his history, which is documented in these archives.  It’s a fascinating read (both from a personal and a professional perspective) if you have the time to look through some of it.

Here’s a fun excerpt from his interview:

Valentine: I don’t believe in business school.

Hughes: Why?

Valentine: We have people here at Sequoia who went to business school, but most of the primary partners here have not gone to business school. Or said differently, and this is a true story, when asked where I went to business school, I said, “Fairchild Semiconductor.” And the people said, “We’ve never heard of it.” I was talking to people who thought that if you didn’t go to Harvard Business School you could never learn how to manage money. And my rejoinder was I was not interested in learning how to raise money; I was interested in building great companies, and I didn’t have to go Harvard Business School to build great companies.

Check out the full archives of interviews here.