In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners, talks about how best to invest in innovative technology, assuming job creation as a primary consideration. By investing in a platform like Etsy, Breyer says, you help create jobs and a marketplace for people all over the world. Also appearing in this video: Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick and Sean Parker of Founders Fund.
Breyer: The optimism would be based on the following: I think Sean articulated exactly right what is happening in Silicon Valley in terms of seed investing and the “spray and pray” philosophy, which unfortunately is occurring a little bit in New York, not much; perhaps in Beijing, not as much. But then there’s rest of world, including rest of United States, and what I do see is tremendous growth in what we talked about. Those Etsy sellers are not necessarily in Palo Alto, Cambridge, Massachusetts or Manhattan. There are some. But they are in Bentonville, Arkansas, right there in the shadows of Wal-Mart. They are all over the world. We see them now in areas as diverse as rural Brazil. And the question I have—and I don’t have the answer; I have a philosophy: Is a job created in Brazil the same as a job created in the US, as we think about these technologies and marketplaces? And certainly from an investment philosophy, given that we have more partners now in Beijing than in Palo Alto, as many partners in India and elsewhere as we do in Palo Alto, we’re trying to invest in companies that can make a huge profound difference, not just from an investment perspective, a shareholder perspective five to seven years from now, but when we look back, have had a true global impact in terms of creating jobs and in some way bettering the lives around them. And that is happening. A lot of that is happening.