For me, there is no story that captures the spirit of American entrepreneurialism better than the one about David and Goliath. There is something heroic about the idea of the underdog, who, against all odds and armed only with his instinct, passion and relentlessness, overcomes the giant. You
certainly see it in sports – can anyone say Red Sox? Apologies to you Yankee fans out there for making you relive that memory, but even you have to admit that what the Red Sox pulled off was the stuff of legend. Here in Silicon Valley, we VCs are all about investing in the ’Davids’ of the technology industry, funding those companies whose teams, ideas and technologies serve as their sling and stones to take down much bigger, established and fierce competitors.
A few weeks ago, when I was serving as a VC judge at an event called Under the Radar, I came across Zimbra, a start-up going after the biggest Goliath in the software business. There are a whole host of reasons why I like what they are doing: leveraging open source, developing a rich web client built on cutting edge AJAX technologies and offering a very interesting alternative to Microsoft Exchange. I’ll have more specifics about what they’re up to in a future post. But most of all, what I like best about Zimbra is that they, like many of the start-ups that have come before them (Napster, Salesforce.com and Skype, to name a few) have set about to fundamentally change the technology industry.
Let me know what you think. Talk to you soon.