Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2014

Don Valentine and Sequoia Capital

by Felda Hardymon, Tom Nicholas and Liz Kind


Don Valentine participated in the beginnings of two significant milestones: the birth of the silicon chip and the development of the venture capital industry. From humble beginnings, Valentine became a legendary salesman at Fairchild Semiconductor and National Semiconductor before founding Sequoia Capital in 1972. Valentine was comfortable making high-risk bets on unknown entrepreneurs in markets where he saw great potential. Unlike other venture capitalists of the time that focused on finding outstanding entrepreneurs or groundbreaking technology, Valentine took a different approach. He focused predominantly on the size of the potential market.

Keywords: Venture Capital; Personal Development and Career; Semiconductor Industry;


Hardymon, Felda, Tom Nicholas, and Liz Kind. "Don Valentine and Sequoia Capital." Harvard Business School Case 814-096, April 2014.