mystified by the reluctance of some portfolio companies to avoid a stock market flotation. "They would benefit from the rigor and discipline that the public market requires," he said.
Maybe an idea which needs a year to properly develop an idea is justifiably afraid of quarterly meddling at the beginning.
That's discipline to avoid that short term trap
I assume he's not talking about small companies, but GV portfolio companies like...
Uber, Slack, Cloudera, Blue Bottle Coffee, etc...
Which seem to be happy to continue to take new rounds of VC money leaving GV and early investors with no exit. W/o an IPO it is more challenging for GV to get their money back to invest in other companies which means their returns might look good on paper, but these companies are essentially holding GV's investment hostage and using the new VC money to invest in new projects w/o paying back the original investors for the risk they took on previous projects. Essentially these companies are effectively forcing GV to invest in their new projects (instead of taking that money and investing in another company).
If you want a car analogy, it's like Slack telling GV about a plan to drive from SF to LA to sell a car but Slack doesn't have any money for gas. GV gives Slack the gas money with the promise that Slack will pay GV back the gas money and some part of the money from the sale of the car as a bonus when they get to LA. Somewhere near Bakersfield, Slack decides he wants to go to Las Vegas instead because Slack could get even more for the car in Vegas, much more than the cost of gas to get there.
However, GV is starting to have second thoughts about Slack's Vegas plan and wants out of the car and Slack to pay back his gas money and suggests Slack crowdsource his trip to Vegas and use the money raised to payback GV (maybe use the money to fund someone else's trip to LA to sell a car). Instead, Slack decides to pick up a VC hitchhiker that willing to pay for the gas to go from Bakersfiled to Vegas, but not enough to pay back GV's gas money.
GV thinks Slack won't crowdsource because they would price in the risk of Slack's plan to go to Vegas instead of LA to sell the car and reduce Slack's expected return of going to Vegas vs LA and it was simply easier to find some VC hitchhiker to get some Vegas gas money and hold GV's gas money hostage instead. GV thinks Slack could use the discipline of the crowdsource wisdom to see the error in it's way.