LA Venture Podcast: TenOneTen Venture's Gil Elbaz on Why Founders Need a 10-Year Vision

On this episode of L.A. Venture, we talk to Gil Elbaz, one of my partners and the co-founder of TenOneTen Ventures.

Gil is one of the most iconic founders in L.A. He talks about his years building what would eventually become Google's AdSense while he was at Applied Semantics, his experience founding Factual, and explains why founders should mentally commit 10 years to their startup before beginning.

"I enjoy working with people who are addicted enough to solving a particular problem that they can't really imagine stopping — regardless of the kind of roadblock that they hit," he says. "I think that the entrepreneur has to go in assuming that it's going to take years before the market appreciates this incredible vision, that actually it's going to be a full 10 years until you get through the entire cycle of finding product-market fit."


  • Gil's sale of Applied Semantics to Google was one of the earliest and most significant venture-backed startup sales in Southern California
  • Applied Semantics's product, AdSense, is now iconic and tens of billions of dollars in revenue
  • Gil then went on to lead Google's L.A. office for a number of years before leaving Google to start his second L.A.-based startup, Factual.
  • Factual had a big employee base and presence in Century City before merging with Foursquare
  • Gil was a trustee at Caltech and has been on the board at XPrize for 15 years
"Follow your values, give it a decent effort. Don't kill yourself. Just give it a decent effort. Don't act like, 'this conversation isn't important'. Take it seriously. Just do the right thing — A hundred thousand times in a row." — Gil Elbaz

Gil Elbaz is the co-founder of TenOneTen Ventures, a Los Angeles-based, early-stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs who apply data and technology to disrupt existing industries, or create new categories entirely.

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