The Anti-Portfolio

Found this great link from Hacker NewsBessemer Venture Partners’ anti-portfolio.

Everyone likes to highlight their strengths and past successes, but there’s something impressive about being able to admit mistakes, on your corporate site no less.  I can only hope that the implication is that they have learned from these mistakes.

Highlights of investment opportunities passed over include:

  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Google
  • Intel
  • Intuit
  • PayPal

Also some refreshingly honest reasons for why they missed out, including this fantastic description of passing on Google:

Cowan’s college friend rented her garage to Sergey and Larry for their first year. In 1999 and 2000 she tried to introduce Cowan to “these two really smart Stanford students writing a search engine”. Students? A new search engine? In the most important moment ever for Bessemer’s anti-portfolio, Cowan asked her, “How can I get out of this house without going anywhere near your garage?”