Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, Vinod Khosla held little back in his keynote at the Money 20/20 conference, denouncing the US move to EMV chip cards as "screwed up" and predicting that "NFC will takeover in three years."
During an attention grabbing outbreak of plain speaking, Khosla admitted in an aside he instantly clicks away from any checkout that uses Verified by Visa, as he spoke out against payment methods which he considered were designed to minimise conversion.
Khosla suggested EMV was flawed as a consequence of the customer experience, would become irrelevant in three years, and will eventually be replaced by NFC-enabled mobile technologies.
The real estate and mortgage industries were also singled out as being ripe for re-invention, "it costs eight per cent to sell a home and you get nothing but a lot of uncertainty." Khosla Ventures has, of course, invested in businesses addressing these opportunities, including OpenDoor and Cadre.
The venture capital industry was not above criticism either. Khosla advised fintech start ups and growth businesses in the audience to consider carefully when and who they got on board. "Investors are great at crunching numbers but early on - when the innovation really happens - there are no numbers to crunch yet. At that early stage, growth businesses need help with things like finding talent or networking."
He also advised startups to find investment partners who have experience of building a company themselves, "you have to ask them, have they earned the right to give you advice?" Founders themselves needed to be, "obstinate on their vision but flexible about tactics."
Iterating on tactics, not being too wedded to one idea and being active in seeking feedback, were all singled out as attributes of successful entrepreneurs.