Sequoia is arguably Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capital firm, having invested in giants like Apple, Google, Oracle, YouTube and Yahoo over its nearly five decades. Vernal joined in 2016 from Facebook, where he spent more than eight years, most recently leading its search group.
In the early days of Facebook, the company resented the fast imitation of social network knockoffs in Russia and China, he says, but now it’s looking with envy at China’s extremely popular WeChat messaging app.
“Today, if you look at WhatsApp or Messenger, both of them pale in comparison to WeChat, which is just a force to be beheld in China,” he said. “In many ways, the Messenger and WhatsApp teams wish they had something as influential, and powerful, and ubiquitous as WeChat.”
Another Sequoia partner, Mike Moritz, recently came under fire for an opinion piece comparing Silicon Valley’s work ethic unfavorably to China’s, where he says tech employees often work 10 hour days, six days a week. Critics called his take tone deaf, and said it glorified unhealthy work practices.
Here’s the full list of the top tech trends that the VCs presented at the event: