Zillow Speaker Series: Bill Gurley

Quick quiz: What do a board game inventor, Netflix algorithm guru and a venture capitalist all have in common?

They’ve all been featured guest speakers at Zillow.

Yesterday, the latest inspirational speaker to stop by Zillow’s Seattle offices was Bill Gurley, a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital. Benchmark Capital has backed companies like eBay, Twitter, Yelp, OpenTable and (full disclosure) Zillow. Gurley spent the first part of his career on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst and stopped by Zillow’s offices to share his insights with Zillow employees as to what makes a company — especially an online company — successful.

Gurley also authors the very popular blog, “Above the Crowd,” which focuses on the “evolution and economics of high technology businesses.”

As a venture capitalist, he explained, his job is to find companies that will “find the next white space and paint it in.” Successful companies aren’t improving on a specific field, but applying technology where it has not been implemented yet. Gurley gave the success of local and mobile as an example — citing tech and online companies that have dominated the mobile platform from the get-go.

Want to hear more inspirational speakers, but in person? Check out Zillow’s jobs page— we’re hiring for several positions.