One of the most successful venture capital firms, Greylock wanted to reflect on its history without patting itself on the back. We proposed that the company do in media what it does every day in the course of business: focus on the entrepreneur.
The result was Greymatter, a series of videos in which the founders of Greylock portfolio companies talk about pivotal moments in their entrepreneurial experience. But we didn’t want testimonials. We just wanted to get the story that other entrepreneurs wanted to hear.
We worked documentary style with a crew of seasoned television and movie pros. In order to get what the entrepreneurs said directly, rather than working from a script, we prepped our subjects lightly, so they could respond spontaneously on camera.
The resulting stories ranged from Redfin’s Glenn Kelman talking about the impossibility of grafting a sense of purpose onto a company mission late in the game, to Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker and John Lilly explaining how the only way to get the future you want is to make it, to eBay’s Simon Rothman on the risk inherent in rapidly expanding a company’s product offering, to AirBnb’s Joe Gebbia on getting passed over repeatedly on the road to finding the investor who really gets you.
Released through TechCrunch, and via Greylock’s Medium channel, GreyMatter provides a glimpse into into the human struggle behind billion-dollar valuations.