- Wikipedia Page | Pretty much everything you need to know!
- Twitter @timdraper | 133,000 followers
- Personal Homepage | TimothyDraper.com
- Draper Associates | Early Stage Funding
- How to Be a Startup Hero | Book I referenced and have read!
- Believes in the power of bitcoin #bitcoininspace
- See other DFJ alumni interviews – Tim Draper, Heidi Roizen, Bill Bryant, Ravi Belani
When considering the decades-worth of interviews, articles, and public appearances, what hasn’t been covered when it comes to Tim Draper? Well, here at VC Hunting I can do better, so I did my research and found some questions that I’ve never heard Tim talk about and for that effort, Tim rewarded me with a compliment at the end of our interview saying that I’m more like a “Valley girl than CNBC” in the way that I interview. You know what? I’ll take it as a compliment.
To start, Tim took the immediate opportunity to remind us all of his awesome new book, How to be The Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs. I purchased his book and I even purchased his dad’s book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs back in 2013. This may immediately signal me as a fanboy. That’s ok. I read a lot. 🙂 From here I wanted to get something straight: According to Tim Draper’s Wikipedia page, it says that he’s often regarded as one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world, and one of the most powerful and influential people in Silicon Valley. If this is so, I wanted to know that if Tim Draper had an evil twin, how would he wield such power and influence? Tim’s answer was actually somewhat mindblowing, it’s actually the bad guys who are the most innovative and progressive! It’s the bad guys who are moving the technology-needle!
“I created Draper University of Heroes and I talked to my son and he said, ‘You know, the villains in these comic books are really inventive. They really create some interesting things!’ Dr. Octopus moves humanity forward with his exoskeletons, the Lizardman is all about cloning and DNA. I’m thinking, oh wait, are they heroes or villains? The way we’re supposed to think has often been completely transformed by an entrepreneur!… So just being good person and staying in your lane… I think you’re actually being bad! You’re not innovating, you’re not trying new things, you’re not pushing humanity forward.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
The second question came from Tim’s second tweet on Twitter: Supporting his daughter who used to have a YouTube channel talking to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and clinically-bland-technology-dudes. I watched a couple of episodes and they had me laughing. They were pretty good! I didn’t, however, ask him why his first tweet of all time seemed like a hash or cryptographic address of sorts… maybe he really knew something about Bitcoin back then that we didn’t…
So what happened to this show?
“That was the greatest show! It was so good! She got people to do the funniest things. She had Elon Musk shoot off a bottle rocket and she smashed a TV with the Justin.TV guys… she did some hilarious and fun things… eventually she grew up and out of it and is now a venture capitalist and she’s backing only women’s innovations. That has worked out very well and it’s called Halogen Ventures.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
Speaking about lineage, I wanted to know a bit more about Tim and some of his thoughts about his father, William H. Draper III. Having written a book called The Startup Game, Tim’s father is one of the pioneers of venture capital in silicon valley and in his book he does an excellent job at describing the ins-and-outs of VC life and his adventures building what we see today. So, what character or personality trait did Tim think that his father passed on to him?
“If you read this book, you’ll get this feeling of optimism. He is the most optimistic person on the planet. I would love to be that optimistic. I am pretty optimistic but there is no one more optimistic than my father. And when you read that book, everything in there is positive. When I’m down, I pick up that book and say ‘Oh yeh, everything’s good.’ He has a gift for optimism… If I got anything from my father, it’s a love for people.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
One quote that Tim’s grandfather passed down to him and his dad was this quote:
“It doesn’t matter really who’s buying and who’s selling. It’s a personal relationship that matters.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
So what were the collective lessons learned from Theranos? I loved Tim’s answer even if it was more meta than specifics:
“When entrepreneurs create an OK business, nobody seems to care. But if they create something that extraordinary and fundamental to an industry they have to be willing to fight right back. When they start attacking, and they will, you should be ready to fight back. If you create something that really changes peoples livelihoods, they are going to come after you. You need to be willing to fight for your company and continue to tell them why it’s better.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
It seems that Elizabeth Holmes had the tenacity that is required for a startup, it just so happened that she may have convinced herself that what she was doing was actually right, and real.
Side note from talking about Elon Musk and his challenging of the trucking industry…
Tim asked me whether his Tesla could beat my Radical SR3 race car. Apparently his Tesla can go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. My gutted race car with a tuned Hayabusa engine can do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. I win. While this actually doesn’t mean a whole lot in the span of time and the universe. For me, my ego was over the moon! Am I a greater man?… … …
I did ask if Tim had a 36″ waist or smaller. If so, I can pick him up the next time he flies into Atlanta. Now, wouldn’t that be a treat!
Moving on… Bitcoin. I’ve heard Tim talk about Bitcoin for so many years, and recently he said that he can see Bitcoin hitting $250K by 2023! So is adoption going to take place in this decade? I have to know!
“Once bitcoin goes through some improvements, there is no way anyone will want to use fiat currency. I think it’s no more than 2 or 3 years out. So my prediction was Bitcoin at $250K by 2022 or the beginning of 2023. And the reasoning is all these merchants don’t want to lose 4% every time you swipe your credit card. All of that engineering is being done, some of it has been done like open node and lighting network.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
Finally, I wanted to understand #bitcoininspace.
“What governments need to realize now is that a lot of what they do is in virtual space. Land-based governments need to watch out. A government with no overhead, no people, it can be just a bunch of satellites shooting around information. That can be much cheaper, more effective, and actually fairer than any government that is tied to a bunch of buerocracy.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
Land-based governments versus space-based governments. A whole new world to my brain. I think I’ll need to sit on this one for a while.
“I want multiple space-based governments so they all have to compete for us. I like the competition. They all compete, they’re held accountable, they have to provide good service at low cost, good government service for low taxes, that’s important and that is how governments are going to win in the next decades.”Tim Draper | VC Hunting S2E6
This was a pretty great way to end our interview as Tim has been talking about governments competing for people for a long time now. It reminded me of a video I watched where Tim was speaking to the United Nations about competitive governance and governments competing for people. A very powerful and novel idea.
What a fun interview with Tim Draper! I look forward to the possibility of having another fun interview where we dig into even more random quotes, tweets, and history that CNBC and MSNBC don’t cover. Mostly because they’re boring.
Enjoy my retrospective!
Tim Draper Social Media
Ya did a fine job takin’ down that bird. Maybe I was wrong about you hunters up in that lodge. Clearly ya know what you’re doin’. I’d be happy to hunt by your side again, as long as you’re huntin’ big game!