Sequoia Capital

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Views from America’s National Parks

The United States has 59 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress.

The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Rock Creek Park (later merged into National Capital Parks), Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Many current National Parks had been previously protected as National Monuments by the President under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (including six in Alaska) are paired with a National Preserve, areas with different levels of protection that are administered together but considered separate units and whose areas are not included in the figures below.

Photo credits: Jim Urquhart/Reuters (4), Phil Hawkins/Reuters, Charles Platiau/Reuters, Erin Whittaker/Reuters, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

See more photos of national parks and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.

Leadership Lessons: Communication, Courage, Culture

We rounded up the twelve most-watched business talks on our YouTube channel from the 2014-2015 academic year. Explore the below videos for insights on the role of communication, failure, risk-taking, values, integrity, and courage in leadership:

Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques


Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman on Hiring Phenomenal People


Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos: Transforming Healthcare by Embracing Failure


Vinod Khosla: Failure does not matter. Success matters.


Sequoia Capital’s Doug Leone on Luck & Taking Risks


Stanford SEED: Prince Kofi Amoabeng on Entrepreneurship


Mitt Romney on Leadership: Know Your Values


HP CEO Meg Whitman on Integrity & Courage in Leadership


Stefanos Zenios: Design Thinking is About Doing


Reed Hastings, Netflix: Stanford GSB 2014 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year


Coursera CEO, Rick Levin: Leaders Must Communicate Their Vision


Charles O'Reilly: How to Create a Culture of Success

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Our latest business partners, the new way to travel, Trippy.

Funding Bubble? Yes.

Months ago I had been using Whatsapp and thought it was good but not great. One key thing missing was knowing whether the person saw your message or not, like it does on BBM. Soon Kik launched and had the promise of blowing Whatsapp out of the water. Shoot, it was founded by key guys from the BBM team, good sign right?

Well, I tried the Kik after it launched with that heavy, and I mean very heavy, press coverage. What happened? Kik didn’t work that great, especially with the initial load on their system, so I decided to go back to Whatsapp. Simply put, it lost the bake off.

Bear with me as this story continues. While Whatsapp was missing the “read” message feature that Kik launched with, I decide to write in Whatsapp and tell them they won the bake off against Kik (congrats!) but was curious when they might update their app with the “read” feature that Kik had. I happened to get a response from Whatsapp hours later.

Their response: “What’s Kik?”. I figured…hmm, can’t be good if you don’t know you have a new competitor with heavy backing and coverage and huge initial growth but okay. Maybe it’s asking too much but I’d at least expect them to know about it but Whatsapp wasn’t funded by anyone and seemed to be just humming along.

Well not anymore. Whatsapp recently raised $8 million in funding from Sequoia among others. 8 million! And they didn’t even know who Kik was! Am I expecting too much from a startup or is it kinda worrisome that their response to my question was so…blank?

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“The hardest thing is for any entrepreneur is to start” Jack Dorsey, Square at GigaOM RoadMap 2011

Watch on adriangrant.org

Fireside chat between Roelof Botha (Sequoia Capital) and Michael Arrington at TC Disrupt in NYC, May 2011

Watch on sequoiacapital.tumblr.com

Great perspective at Disrupt Beijing from Hosain Rahman of Jawbone on why Silicon Valley needs China to survive

Watch on sequoiacapital.tumblr.com

Founder stories: Kevin and Julia Hartz on Xoom and Eventbrite

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At GigaOM RoadMap 2011, Hosain Rahman explains how devices like Jawbone’s Up Band could make it possible to move into an era where our bodies can be connected to everything in our world.

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Great insights from a panel at the recent Evernote conference about making Great Decisions -with  Tim Ferris, Guy Kawasaki and Roelof Botha