Bill Maris

  • American businessman

Bill Maris (born 1975, full name William J Maris) is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist focused on technology and the life sciences. He is the founder and first CEO of Google Ventures (GV). He is the creator of Google's Calico project, a company focused on the genetic basis of aging. He is the founder of early web hosting pioneer Burlee.com, now part of Web.com, and the founder of Section 32, a California-based venture fund focused on frontier technology.

If I'm an entrepreneur, and I have a term sheet from Sequoia and Kleiner, that's the safe choice. Google Ventures is the brave choice.

The reality is regulation often lags behind innovation.

Silicon Valley has been a technology capital like New York is a financial capital.

We're looking for people who are working on things that seem out of reach, uncomfortably difficult.

When you build relationships with entrepreneurs, they're not trying to optimize on price.

I loved dinosaurs, I loved space, and I thought maybe I'd be the first paleo-astronaut.

I contemplated a career at NIH at one point. I have a neuroscience background.

All the information in the world has been pretty dispersed, but Google's mission has been to organize it and make it universally accessible.

Healthcare is becoming part of information technology.

We make a series of investments, some will pan out and some won't.

Time is the one thing I can't get back and can't give back to you.

Big ideas we tend to like are the ones that seem impossible or crazy.

Your genome isn't really secret.

In genomics, there's a massive amount of information in which you can look for patterns and develop insights.

During the 2000 bubble, many companies rushed to go public before they had any revenue.

You want to work with people you are excited about and they are excited about you. It's a two-way street.

Google was a venture-funded company. Being part of that brings an energy to the company.

To create exponential growth in health care, we need to put tremendous resources and focus behind the best human minds working in this field.

The reality is if you were going to die tomorrow, and someone offered you another 10 years, most people would take those 10 years.

Google Ventures has a direct financial incentive to ensure the companies we invest in succeed.

Organizing healthcare information is a daunting task, but it is not an impossible task. We've had people walk on the moon. This is a lot more doable.

I sign off not only every investment, but every dollar that goes out the door - I'm aware of it.

Antibiotics are so pervasive that they are often prescribed preemptively, as soon as patients report symptoms, before a diagnosis is made.

CEOs who can hire properly, that's the most important part of the job. The CEO's job is really to hire the right team and execute the vision second.

VC firms are... responsible for the full life cycle of a company: they find it, help it grow, open up a Rolodex, and sell it.

I'm not bothered when other VCs start hiring great designers or start recruiting. That's the direction I'd like it to go.

As computer intelligence gets better, what will be possible when we interface our brains with computers? It might sound scary, but early evidence suggests otherwise: interfacing brains with machines can be helpful in treating traumatic brain injury, repairing spinal cord damage, and countless other applications.

There are environmental threats to health; there are internal threats to health - genetic conditions, viral threats, diseases like cancer and Parkinson's. And then there are societal and global ones, like poverty and lack of nutrition. And unknown viral threats - everything from a new kind of influenza to hemorrhagic fever.

The reality is the technology exists now to extend life and have people live healthier, happier lives. Not to be kind of immortal - that's not what I'm talking about.

We are looking for highly technical, enthusiastic and capable entrepreneurs who have a healthy disregard for the impossible, and that's not always easy to find.

Government is really successful when it's willing to make big, bold objectives, like, 'We're going to get to the moon.' But without leaders with big ideas, we get stuck.

We have this powerful lever at Google Ventures, which is to invest $200 million a year. This is a huge lever. It's not all going into one place; it's going into lots of start ups and founders and entrepreneurs, all of which are levers to try and change the world in one way or another.

We actually have the tools in the life sciences to achieve anything that you have the audacity to envision. I just hope to live long enough not to die.

If you're a technology investor, and you decide that you're also going to be a healthcare investor or a green-tech investor, that doesn't usually work out that well. There are reasons why people make their careers studying these things and becoming experts.

I can make it very clear: I get paid if we make good investments. And if we don't, I don't get paid. I have no incentive to sell our companies to Google; the entrepreneurs get to decide that. We are minority shareholders.

As life expectancy extends beyond 80 years in some parts of the world, more people are struggling with brain diseases. For older people, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other conditions become a major impediment to quality of life.