Outliers 61: Sameer Gandhi shares lessons from the startup journeys of Dropbox, Spotify and DJI

Pankaj Mishra June 29, 2018

What do Dropbox, Spotify and DJI have in common? Great founding teams, obsessive focus on details and, of course, their core products.

Another common factor across these and several other successful companies of this decade is venture investor Sameer Gandhi who’s now a partner at Accel. (Disclosure: Accel India is the lead investor in SourceCode Media, the owner of FactorDaily).

Over past two decades, Gandhi has had the front row seats in some of the most important startups. He’s also sat through “the situation room” at these companies.

“Founders are the spiritual core of their startups,” he says.

Successful founders aren’t afraid to go get people on board who are better than them in certain areas

“I talked to one of my founders at one point in time. He was running the company as a founder—very inspirational,” he recalls.

“I told him to come back as the CEO after a break and not the founder.”

According to Gandhi, it’s this transition from being a founder to a great CEO that makes startups such as Dropbox, Spotify and DJI insanely successful.


Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.