Is There A Venture Bubble… At OpenView We Don’t Care

April 12, 2011

I was reading the WSJ this morning and checked out the Venture Dispatch portion of the Small Business Section. There was an article by Scott Fund titled “Four More Years Of Blowing Venture Bubbles” that reminded me of when I attended the SEVC (South East Venture Conference) in early March to speak to founders, CEOs and Management teams of early and expansion stage software companies about topics of interest as part of a panel.

One of the topics discussed was whether or not there is a bubble in the venture industry. My response to the audience was that it does not matter whether there is a bubble or not and that at OpenView we don’t care.

As some of you may know I spent 24 years in the software industry as an operationally focused executive before I retired. I later joined OpenView Partners, a Boston based Venture Capital firm that invests growth capital in expansion stage software companies. Thirteen years of my career was spent at Oracle where I ran North America Sales, was a member of the Executive Committee and reported to Larry Ellison.

I told the audience at the conference that during the height of the Dot Com boom we had one of our analyst’s conferences in San Francisco. Larry was on stage and he told the analysts that someday companies with…

  • Real Products
  • Real Revenues
  • Real Profits

…would matter again. Larry was right… at the end of the day, all the hype, all the excessive valuations and smoke and mirrors aside, it is about having a sustainable business model that delivers real value in the marketplace. That is why I also told the audience that it is not about the money when they are looking to raise venture capital.

At OpenView, after we make a venture capital investment in a portfolio company, our focus is on helping the CEO and management team build scalable software companies with profitable economic models that deliver real value to their customers, partners and the marketplace.

At the end of the day it does not matter if there is a bubble or not, an economic recession or not… if you build great companies, the founders, management teams and OpenView will all achieve a successful exit… and that is all that matters.

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.