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Episode 116: Paul Madera – Why He Invested $10 Million In Facebook In 2005

Episode 116: Paul Madera – Why He Invested $10 Million In Facebook In 2005

Paul Madera is one of the most down to earth and humble people I’ve ever spoken to… Considering the immense level of success in multiple life categories, I initially expected that he would have at least a semblance of an ego.  As you’ll hear, that does not exist within Paul.  What a refreshing and enjoyable conversation on this episode of The Learning Leader Show.

Paul Madera is the founder of Meritech (1999).  Meritech is known as the pioneer of late stage investing. Paul currently focuses on the SaaS, storage, e-commerce, financial technology, digital consumer, and medical device sectors.  In 2005, Paul sat down with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and made the decision to invest $10 million to earn 2% of Facebook at the time ($500m valuation).  As most people know, Facebook is now worth hundreds of billions of dollars.  Paul also led the charge for Meritech to be an early investor in Salesforce.com among many other great decisions.

Paul holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and currently serves as the Chairman of the US Air Force Academy Endowment. Previously he flew F 16’s on missions that included dropping bombs on targets and dealing with enemy aircrafts (dogfighting).

Episode 116: Paul Madera – Why He Invested $10 Million In Facebook In 2005

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The Learning Leader Show

“I Love To Invest In Leaders Who Are Obsessed About Their Company.  Those Who Absolutely Love What They Are Doing.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The most dedicated, focused individuals who stress personal excellence tend to sustaine excellence
  • Why Paul initially wanted to invest in MySpace
  • What his first thoughts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were in 2005
  • Agreeing to a deal with Mark Zuckerberg – Investing $10m at a $500m company valuation
  • How his company makes decisions on who to invest in
  • The specific qualities he looks for in a CEO to invest in (He loves leaders who are obsessed with their company and certain of their future success)
  • The biggest mistakes young leaders/managers make
  • The specific missions he flew as a fighter pilot – dropping bombs on enemy targets and dealing with combative opposing aircrafts
  • Dogfighting like they did in the movie “Top Gun” – incredible stories!
  • Great leaders are always “doing” – Always striving to learn more

 “It’s Important To Have a Commitment Strategy… Not An Exit Strategy”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 001: How To Become A Master Connector W/ Jayson Gaignard From MasterMind Talks

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 082: Dan Pink – The Science of Motivation, Legendary Writer & Ted Talk

Episode 086: Seth Godin – How To Become Indispensable & Build Your Tribe

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Paul Madera on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

Bio From MeritechCapital.com

Paul Madera founded Meritech in 1999. He currently focuses on the SaaS, storage, e-commerce, financial technology, digital consumer, and medical device sectors.

He has led Meritech’s investments into 2Wire (Pace), Acopia (F5), BlueArc (Hitachi Data), DataStax, DealerSocket, Facebook (FB), Force10 Networks (DELL), Glaukos, Homestead Technologies (INTU), IntraLase (AMO), Openlane (KAR), Panzura, Prosper, Riverbed Technology (RVBD), Salesforce.com (CRM), Tegile, Tensilica (CDNS), Topspin (Cisco), Wonga, Yammer (MSFT) and 21Vianet (VNET).

Prior to Meritech, Paul was Managing Director and Head of the Private Equity Group at Montgomery Securities/Banc of America where he assisted tech and consumer-based startups in raising capital. He began his career in finance as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he served in the United States Air Force as an F-16 Instructor Pilot based in South Korea, Spain, and Utah. He also spent a tour at the Pentagon as a member of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office.

Paul holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and currently serves as the Chairman of the US Air Force Academy Endowment. Paul spends his off hours cycling the hills west of Palo Alto to prepare for “century” rides as well as jogging throughout the San Francisco Peninsula.

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