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Here is a good excerpt for Mercury News.

“One of the world’s pre-eminent venture capitalists, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, has picked winners like Flextronics, Cisco Systems, Yahoo, PayPal and Google by focusing on small teams or individuals that on first glance might appear to be unfundable. In a rare interview, Moritz spoke with the Mercury News about one of his latest long-shots, a call-center company founded in India, how he picks companies to back, and the silver lining in the financial meltdown. Following is an edited transcript.

Q How has the financial crisis reshaped the economy and affected the way you pick winners?

A I think tougher circumstances just serve to shine a brighter light on everything. The manner in which we pursue the business hasn’t changed.

Q Has it affected the way you view your portfolio companies?

A I think the managements of companies all across America understand that the sooner they don’t have to rely on the kindness of strangers to support their operations, the better off they are going to be. Again, I don’t think that is a startling new insight. It’s just when money is harder to get and credit is tight and investors are less giddy, I think companies and managements become much more disciplined. It means the people who start companies in times like these are people who are genuinely interested in starting companies. You have to be very determined to venture out into atmospheric circumstances like the ones that we’ve been through in the past nine months. Which means that the pretenders and posers and people who are really much more interested, if they are honest about it, in becoming rich than starting a company — those sorts of people will stay on the sidelines and wait for the weather to improve.”

Read the full interview by Elise Ackerman at at SiliconValley.com here.

Others covering this story: Reddit, Trading markets, MATR.

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