The founder of Expedia and Zillow, who is also a venture capitalist, said in a recent talk that when he’s evaluating another entrepreneur’s pitch, “I look more for passion around a story and idea than I do around a spreadsheet.” As reported by Brier Dudley, technology columnist for The Seattle Times, Rich Barton went on to say, “I’m a PowerPoint guy, not an Excel guy.
“Spreadsheets never work out the way the entrepreneurs and the venture capitalists think they’re going to work out. We all know that,” Barton explained. “Rarely does the company end up being what the original idea was, anyway (and) it’s very difficult to plan the unplannable.”
A young Microsoft manager when he created Expedia, which later was spun off and became the world’s largest travel business, Rich Barton clearly knows what to look for when evaluating ideas for new tech companies. He’s now a partner in Silicon Valley’s Benchmark Capital, which owned 20 percent of Instagram before it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.