Tim Draper, VC Samurai – Video Interview

02.19.08 | Category: Asymmetry, Power Zen, Simplicity, Video

Tim Draper VC Samurai - ValleyZen momentTim Draper, Founder of DFJ, gives us an AMAZING interview. In over 50 minutes of high-energy footage, Tim catapults Drue in the air (literally!), shows his art in DFJ’s Men’s bathroom, and reveals his Zen insights on entrepreneurship, business and life. For the next 5 weeks, every Monday we will release one of the episodes, about 10 minutes each, of Tim’s irreverent wisdom. Here is a short trailer, to whet your appetite. Here is the first episode. In it you will see Tim:

  • On the importance of Zen in Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • On his cameo as Principal Schmoke in the Naked Brothers Band (are you watching the series on Nickelodeon? You better!)
  • On digging deep to write The Risk Master, an entrepreneurial anthem
  • On Asymmetry and Non-linearity in life
  • “[ValleyZen.com] is a terrific addition to our business… If you have a good, strong spirit, it will drive your business.”
  • “I got chased by a cape buffalo in Africa…” Hear the story!

Tune in for the next episodes every Monday only on ValleyZen.com. Don’t miss:

  • Tim’s Samurai lessons for entrepreneurs
  • A tour of Tim’s office
  • Tim on Simplicity: “The simple, elegant ideas…”
  • A tour of the DFJ Men’s Bathroom, featuring Tim’s famous sheep painting
  • Stories from the Sand Hill Challenge
  • DFJ’s golden Frisbee: what does it take to win one?
  • Witness a shoot-out in DFJ’s office. Somebody, call the Police!
  • Tim’s Samurai Flip: Drue flies into the air!

Tim sums it up best:“ValleyZen.com is the only way to start your day…I’m very excited about the future of ValleyZen…It brings all of us here in the Silicon Valley together in a special Zen way…ommmmm!”


Episode 1:

19 Comments so far

  1. Svetlozar

    The interview lives up to Tim Draper’s legend. Can’t wait to see his painting in the men’s bathroom, though…

  2. Thomas Han


    Great way to get to know Tim better. Just watched the first installment, looking forward to the next 4 in coming weeks.

    Thanks again!

  3. Drue

    Thanks Thomas — Tim is a modern day VC Samurai.

    I hope the behind the scenes video creates the feeling of talking with Tim, himself.

  4. Bill Fenwick

    I think Tim and Drue would be great leading a meditation session (with or without the Flip). Think of the audience it would attract; Bankers, accountants, entrepreuners, lawyers, Sumi patrons and lots of fellow venture capitalist (the whole community of allies).

    I assume the Samurai Flip came from the 8th and 9th century style of Zen Buddhism described in “Zen Buddhism.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 19 Feb. 2008. .

    “The 8th and 9th cent. were the “golden age” of Zen, producing such great masters as Ma-tsu, Nan-chuan, Huang-po, Lin-chi, and Chao-chou. The unique Zen teaching style developed, stressing oral instruction and using nonrational forms of dialogue, from which the later koan was derived. In some cases physical violence was used to jolt the student out of dependence on ordinary forms of thought and into the enlightened consciousness. Scholarly knowledge, ritual, and performing good deeds were considered of comparatively little spiritual value.”

  5. Gillian

    I am so blessed to be an early subscriber of ValleyZen.com. I was researching and reading blogs in search of where I might contribute and I found you! Your presentation is a true inspiration for me as I am a poet who advises entrepreneurs! ValleyZen revives my artistic spirit and reminds me not to fall under the overpowering hypnosis of business, as I find that I must sip from the artistic cup of life as well to inform and balance the entrepreneur! I look forward to drinking in my Valley Zen regularly.

  6. Guy Kawasaki

    Just because you put your hands together and close your eyes doesn’t mean you are Japanese. :-) Maybe Tim just saw The Last Samurai?

  7. shawn smith

    Cool art in this video. I like that second one with the guy a lot. I would like to see Tim on that hoverboard. I’m excited to see the rest of these interviews, any other guests coming up I should look out for?

  8. Mark Coggins


    Having just spent the holidays in Buenos Aires, I think the highlight of this segment is your introduction of the concept of Tango Zen. Brilliant!

    Not to disagree with Guy, but it’s clear to me that Tim’s reservoir of Zen comes not from the poses he strikes but, like Sensei Andy Rooney, from his eyebrows! Here he may also be leveraging the power of asymmetry that you mention near the outset.

    What I would have liked to hear more about: the Kataoka Sword! I hope you’ll tell us more about that soon.

  9. Charlene

    Hi Drue. What a great interview and short video! So engaging, humorous, and wonderful to see how Tim Draper incorporates Zen in business… what nice energy. And so beautiful to see your art incorporated in this short piece too. I’m really looking forward to the next chapters, especially the sword fighting!

  10. Chris Brogan...

    Definitely a fun video, and a great view into someone that would-be startup types might run across in their quest for the future. Excellent fun. : )

  11. Aliya Zaidi

    Drue, great interview! Really refreshing to see a different spin on venture capital and it was both irreverent and funny as well as being very inspirational.

    I love the ideas about asymmetry in business. I once read that entrepreneurship is like the street-fighting of the business world, and I think your ideas about asymmetry reflect that. What makes entrepreneurship different from other areas of business is it is unstructured, asymmetrical and requires out-of-the-box thinking. Very much looking forward to seeing the rest of the series!

    Your art is beautiful!

  12. Angus Blackwood

    This is a terrific series and I’m looking forward to future episodes!

    I hope to find out if the golden Frisbee is made by Wham-o. Only Wham-o flying discs are “Frisbees” (Frisbee=Wham-o trademark) and Wham-o makes toys, not serious flying discs. Wham-o ignored the rise of Disc Golf and failed to innovate and create discs with various nuanced aerodynamic characteristics neccessary for slicing arond a tree or “tomahawking” over one. Wham-o invented and grew but later blew the market for flying discs. Wham-o is a minor player now, making cheap, low margin toys while companies like Innova and Discraft rule the world of disc golf.

    The Golden Frisbee and the Wham-o story of their rise and fall as the leader of flying discs is a perfect prize for the entrepreneur who achieves a ___________ dollar market _________ (tune into the episodes to see the prize criteria – I’m not giving it away here!). The Golden Frisbee recognizes a pinnacle achievement but reminds winning entrepreneurs that, like Wham-o’s rise and fall, their own markets will continue to change whether they lead them or not.

    -Angus Blackwood

  13. Todd

    Drue, VC Samurai incredible, great interview. Valley Zen has me hooked.

  14. Gina Ocampo-Haas


    Thank you very much for sharing. It is refreshing to see a lighthearted, fun interview with a VC. I will definitely tune in for the next episode. When is the sword fight?

  15. BJ Fogg

    Two free spirits having fun — what could be better?

  16. Robert Young

    Cute interview. A little disappointed on the Samurai Flip of Drue. After the teaser, I was expecting to see Drue gain some altitude in a slow-mo, Matrix-style somersault…

    But good to see Tim in his natural and jovial self – great character to spur further innovation in the valley.

  17. Drue

    Thanks Robert -

    Tim and I will work on the slo-mo Matrix somersault for next time – but note,
    Tim did this spontaneous one-take Samurai flip with
    No special effects wizardry, no bluescreens, still cameras, wires, or interpolation techniques!!

  18. Dhaval

    A very refreshing video!

  19. EPISODE 4 - Tim Draper Samurai Flips Drue - Video Interview

    [...] these links if you’ve missed: The trailer and Episode 1. Episode 2. Episode [...]

Leave a Comment