Last week, Caterina was awarded the Visionary Award by Silicon Valley Forum, along with academic Vivek Wadhwa, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant and Google X “Captain of Moonshots” Astro Teller. This award has been given for 21 years now, and many Valley legends have received it– Bill Gates, Donna Dubinsky, Kay Koplovitz, Elon Musk, and Reid Hoffman to name a few.
Each of the Visionaries talked about how the Valley has strayed from its path, how its idealism has been lost. Right now the Valley is going through a period of self examination–like an adolescent coming into self awareness for the first time. It is a time when leaders are questioned and some toppled, but also carries within its disillusionment a new chance for the next wave of founders and builders to create things that are better. In Fast Company, Caterina summed this up: “With the poor reputation of the Valley right now, there couldn’t be a bigger opportunity to correct mistakes and reinvent the future.”
When we called our firm Yes VC, what were we saying yes to? In her acceptance speech, Caterina presented a vision of a reborn Silicon Valley, and how to bring it about:
“Astonish us with your genius. Inspire us with your creation. Fight lies, promote truth. Expand possibility. Dream, create, struggle, prevail. Work with one another. Bring everyone you can with you into the future. Share your privilege. Be loving. Be generous. Be compassionate. Be brave. This is your work.”
Yes to a humbler, more generous, more loving, braver Valley.