On Oct. 2, online home-furnishings purveyor Wayfair went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), pricing its shares above the anticipated range. Battery first invested in Wayfair—and its co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine—in 2011. Battery General Partner Neeraj Agrawal sits on Wayfair’s board.
Powered by Battery recently spoke with Mark Leibovich, author of the scathing Washington, D.C. critique “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—and Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital.” The book came out in paperback earlier this year. Leibovich, based in Washington, is the chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine. Earlier in his career he was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and, later, covered Silicon Valley and technology for the Washington Post. Here is an edited transcript of our interview, which touches on topics ranging from lobbyists to Hillary Clinton to the current tech-industry zeitgeist.
We have all seen what happens when people around the world find that they have a voice. They use it. Movements like the Arab Spring protests have been enabled, organized, and amplified through the power of social technologies. If these forces are powerful enough to shake the foundations of governments, surely they are strong enough to affect the world of enterprise business.
On Sept. 23, Battery gathered top CMOs and other marketing executives together for an invite-only “Marketers’ Roundtable” discussion and dinner at Jardiniere restaurant in San Francisco.
Ben Horowitz has a great blog post about analyzing sales losses. His big conclusion is that if you ask sales people why they lose deals, they’ll always say “price.” Whether they do it consciously or subconsciously, by choosing price, they aren’t saying anything negative about their product, team or selves. So when in doubt, say price.
It was data, data and more data at the DataWeek Conference & Expo held Sept. 16-17 in San Francisco. Battery’s Roger Lee participated in a panel discussion offering investors’ perspectives on funding for, and potential acquisitions of, big-data and infrastructure start-ups; other panelists included Deborah Magid of IBM, Chetan Puttagunta of NEA and David Beyer of Amplify Partners.