Peter NiehCo-Founder. Menlo Park. Enterprise.
As a co-founder of Lightspeed, Peter has almost 30 years’ experience investing and helping build companies, primarily in SaaS and infrastructure.
He made his way to venture in 1995 after working at a startup called General Magic, which created electronic marketplaces before the advent of the Web. His knack for finding visionary founders and then working with them to create high growth has led to many successful IPOs and acquisitions.
“I look for founders who can make something great out of nothing except a simple disruptive idea,” he says. “Starting a company is filled with catch-22s. Great entrepreneurs are dauntless and surmount those challenges despite starting with no money, no employees, no customers—nothing. These are special people.”
Peter enjoys working closely with these founders to help figure out two or three fundamental aspects of their business that really matter and can drive their company forward on an upward spiral. “It’s important early on to get startups going on a virtuous path—that creates separation, and the strong get stronger.”
Outside of work, Peter is still trying to prove himself in competitive ultimate frisbee. “It’s a sport that challenges your versatility and is very dynamic and fast-paced,” he says, comparing the game to venture capital and entrepreneurship. “And sometimes you just have to believe and go for it.”