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Unicorn CEOs Spout Off on the Dangers of Billion-Dollar Valuations (Video)

"The ... problem for us is avoiding the feeling of okay, we've done it."

Asa Mathat
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

What do Slack, Houzz and Stripe have in common? All three are unicorns — the Silicon Valley term for companies valued at $1 billion or more. In fact, in the last year, all three startups have landed investments valuing each at more than $2 billion. But with those lofty valuations come risks for the CEOs leading these startups.

Slack’s Stewart Butterfield, Houzz’s Adi Tatarko and Stripe’s Patrick Collison discussed how their sky-high valuations affect their respective startups in an interview with Kara Swisher and Liz Gannes on the final day of this year’s Code Conference.

While Tatarko said the numbers don’t add pressure to her job, Collison and Butterfield acknowledged the risks that come with them.

“One is the impact it has on motivation,” said Butterfield, whose business messaging service is valued at $2.8 billion. “The bigger problem for us is avoiding the feeling of okay, we’ve done it.”

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