Funding for startups is set to top new highs in 2017, promising double-digit growth once again — a trend that’s continued for most of the last two decades. A sizable chunk of that new investment is thanks to Silicon Valley, which alone accounts for roughly 11% of worldwide startup applications, and in that neck of the woods, there’s no greater King Midas than Steve Anderson, the sole founder of Baseline Ventures.
Baseline’s portfolio includes more than 100 companies, 30 of which have exited profitably for investors, including Heroku and ExactTarget, acquired by Salesforce, Instagram, acquired by Facebook, and Instructables, acquired by AutoDesk. In total, he’s booked wins well over a billion dollars in his quest to find the most promising startup ideas.
What makes Anderson a whiz kid, able to compete and win against larger VC firms in the Valley that certainly have deeper pockets, more employees, and, in many cases, a global reach? In his own words, “take risks and trust your instincts.” His criticism of the way larger VC organizations do business, that they’re more about spreadsheets than art, strikes home for many entrepreneurs. “Find out what’s right for you, and do your thing,” he continues.
What makes Anderson truly unique is that he does all this without a partner. “Remember the next time you’re in a Monday morning partner meeting talking about deals that your partner wants to do or when you’re bickering in your office about the politics of the firm. All that time I’m just meeting with companies.”