When it comes to how Silicon Valley is really working right now, we rely on a very concentrated number of voices to tell us how they think it is going. But First Round Capital — a seed-stage firm in San Francisco that has backed a plethora of startups including Uber and Square — released a survey to everyday founders in order to get a better understanding of how they do business today.
Called the State of Startups, the firm surveyed venture-backed founders and received 500 responses, although just 25 percent of them came from within the First Round community. In the survey, they answered questions about the economy, innovation, diversity and their values as entrepreneurs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many founders are worried about the ever-looming Silicon Valley bubble. In the survey, 73 percent responded that there is a bubble, although founders with enterprise backgrounds were less likely to deny the bubble and overall more optimistic than their consumer counterparts.
Although some might deny that the climate could be unstable in its height, nearly every founder said that it will likely be just as (or more) difficult to get funding from venture capital. 95 percent of seed-stage, 97 percent of A-stage, and 99 percent of late-stage founders are concerned, despite the fact that more than 80 percent of them said they received just as much as they wanted, if not more, from their last funding round.
But perhaps nowhere are founders more confused than about the climate of IPOs in the coming year. This isn’t altogether surprising — even huge companies like Square and Box struggled to finally IPO this year. Roughly one third of those polled said that the rate of IPOs will stay the same into next year, while another third said it would increase and the final third said it would decrease.
Beyond the Silicon Valley, many founders had much to say regarding diverse workplaces, technologies to watch, and the seemingly universally loved Elon Musk. You can read more of these insights, as well as a massive slide deck, on First Round’s site.