Perspectives September 11, 2013

10 Reasons Why Michael Arrington Shouldn’t be Bored by Enterprise Software

And why we're excited


Mike Arrington

(Mike “resting his eyes” whenever enterprise software is mentioned)

Yesterday, my partners David Sze and Reid Hoffman sat down with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt to discuss Greylock’s newest fund, as well as provide some insight into the technology and trends that the team is most excited to see in the coming months.

Greylock has a long history in investing in both consumer and enterprise entrepreneurs. And with 10 partners — 6 focused on consumer and 4 focused on enterprise — dedicated to our new fund, we’re pretty bullish on the opportunities to be had in both of these areas.

But even with all the recent enterprise software IPOs, it’s still too easy to dismiss enterprise software as the boring plumbing of the technology world.

If you didn’t see the panel, let me catch you up with the help of TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha:

“One panel topic was Greylock’s interest in backing enterprise startups. That’s something Sze discussed in our post about the new fund, and he started to reiterate those points on-stage — except that interviewer (and TechCrunch founder) Michael Arrington made it clear that he wasn’t all that interested in the topic.”

While Arrington did acknowledge “that many of the best investments at his firm CrunchFund are enterprise startups”, as Greylock’s newest enterprise partner, I feel it necessary to remind Mike (and everyone else) why enterprise startups aren’t “so boring.”

Read on for Jerry’s top 10 reasons why Michael Arrington Shouldn’t be Bored by Enterprise Software…

1. There’s a lot of money in them darn hills.

2. Even cool consumer companies are building big enterprise businesses (Cough: Dropbox)

3. Every scale consumer company is powered by enterprise software (from infrastructure like storage to finance and HR).

4. There is an annual $150 billion in data center infrastructure spending that will be disrupted in this “post-server” eraThat’s 150 billion reasons to become a software plumber!

5. We are at a generational inflection pointNew enterprise software companies like Workday (WDAY) have the opportunity to build disruptively better products than current vendors.

6. The sum total of the market caps of Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP, EMC, and SAP = $750B

7. LinkedIn has more revenue from selling enterprise software than from ads.

8. Because we love to think about changing the way we get work done.

New Habits



9. All the cool kids are doing it!

(from L to R: Aneel Bhusri, Jeff Markowitz, Joseph Ansanelli, Jerry Chen, Asheem Chandna)

10. Last but not least (and we may be biased), recent Greylock enterprise IPOs: Workday (WDAY), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), ServiceNow (NOW), Imperva (IMPV) and future enterprise stars: AppDynamics, Apptio, Avi Networks, ClearSlide, Cloudera, Delphix, Okta, Pure Storage, SkyHigh Networks, and SumoLogic!