Timothy Draper | Venture Capital Investor & Inventor of Viral Marketing

Timothy Draper

Tim Draper is Founding Partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ.

Mr. Draper’s original suggestion to use viral marketing in web-based email to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, YahooMail, and Gmail and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by thousands of businesses.

Venture successes include Skype, Overture, Baidu, Tesla, Theranos, Parametric Technology, Hotmail, Digidesign, Twitch.tv, and hundreds of others.

He was ranked 52 on the list of the 100 most influential Harvard Alumni, and seven on the Forbes Midas List. He was named Always-On #1 top venture capital deal maker. He was awarded the Commonwealth Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award for achievements in green and sustainable energy.

To further encourage entrepreneurship, Mr. Draper has started BizWorld.org, a non-profit for children to learn entrepreneurship, Draper University of Heroes, a school for entrepreneurs 18-28, and he leads SixCalifornias, an initiative to improve the governance of California.



My Definition Of Success | Success never really comes. It is just a state of mind. I love looking to the future and trying new things. Some work. I guess that is success.

I Am Driven By | I am driven by a love for the people around me and those I have wanted to impress in the past.

My Highlights | I invented “viral marketing” and it allowed all these new technologies and services to spread around the world quickly. I also started a few companies that have endured, DFJ, BizWorld, Draper University, Draper Associates.

The Difference Between Good And Great | Practice.

A Key Talent | I am pretty fearless. I try things that might not work. I would encourage others to try more things. At Draper University of Heroes, our credo says “I will fail and fail again until I succeed.”
The Characteristics Of Success | I am willing to take the first step toward a great outcome. Then I take the next step. I also like people.

Principles I Live By | Focus on the long game. Make short term sacrifices for long term success.

Critical Skills I Develop | I personally have worked to make sure all the companies I invest in are working to make their customers into their salespeople.

How I Use My Mind | I think a lot about the feelings and ambitions of other people. If they succeed, I succeed.

Lessons I Have Learnt | You cannot do it alone. Good to get to know everyone you can.

Dealing With Doubt | As they say in Dune, “Fear is the mind killer.”

Performing At My Peak | I am not. I need downtime.

Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I like science fiction.

My Future Dreams And Ambitions | You will see once I have done them.

The Meaning Of Life | 42. I just think that you need to work for people all the time. For money or for fun, but just always have a purpose.

The Best Advice I’ve Received | Talk to the person in the seat next to you on the plane. Ask them what they do.

Advice On Building Wealth | Get rich slowly. Don’t try to get rich fast.

On Inspiring Others | I make sure they are well taken care of and they benefit when I do.

I Am Inspired By | Steve Jobs. Elon Musk

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | Competitive Governance. Viral marketing. Four great kids.

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