by Cameron Winklevoss -
Founder, Winklevoss Capital
An image showing Hitch’s first pairing of 3 single riders (3 pickups/3 drop-offs) in one vehicle on June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST in San Francisco.
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”
-William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Last week, it is was announced that one of our portfolio companies, Hitch, had been acquired by Lyft. I am excited that their innovative ride-sharing algorithm and platform will now be available to even more riders. This summer, two weeks after launch, Hitch completed their first pairing of three riders (3 distinct pickups w/ 3 distinct dropoffs) in a single vehicle, representing a huge step towards maximizing the use of vehicles, reducing pollution/congestion and ultimately the need to own a car outright.
But I actually wanted to use the Hitch story to highlight the importance of coachability. As an Olympic athlete, if my coach had told me that I would have a better chance of winning a medal by standing on my head, well, I would have done exactly that. If you weren’t coachable, you would usually find your way off the team pretty quickly. But companies are a little bit different, since founders are both the athlete (competing) and the coach (managing a team, building a vision, etc.). There is often nothing forcing them to take advice, and yet the best seem to build trusted networks (investors, board members, advisors, etc.) that they leverage to great effect. This avoids building product in a vacuum, getting high on your own supply and more often than not leads to a better outcome for all (Fred Wilson wrote a great blog post about building a company board with independent directors).