Dan Nye Is A Modern Day Cortés
There is a point here, so please bear with me…
First, some background.
You probably already know that Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador (in)famously known for burning his ships upon arrival in the New World to eliminate the possibility of retreat by his men. Heck, what’s a guy to do when you have just 600 men and your mission is to conquer a civilization of 5 million?
Anyway, Dan Nye is CEO of LinkedIN. He joined in 2007 after founding CEO Reed Hoffman stepped back to a board role. LinkedIN has been doing well (rumors of revenue approaching $100MM abound) and you could even argue that their services are somewhat recession proof. Just this past June, they raised $53MM at the lofty valuation of $1BB. What Dan did next was sheer brilliance. Essentially he got everyone one of his investors to record a video on why a valuation of $1BB is cheap. Watch below.
Not only did he publicly release what the valuation was (something that’s not very common when announcing a round) he got his investors on record justifying that valuation in excruciating detail. As proof that the valuation stuck, yesterday LinkedIN announced an extension of the round by another $20MM or so.
The lesson here is to find a way to burn the ships…to get your investors to commit to you.