Maroon 5, Dana Carvey and David Blaine supplied the evening entertainment. The afternoons were for horseback rides, massages and 18 holes on some of the country's most famous golf courses.
It was mid-October at California's Pebble Beach, and about 75 of Silicon Valley's top executives and dealmakers joined their spouses for an intimate three-day event hosted by Frank Quattrone's investment bank, Qatalyst Partners.
The roster of morning speakers included Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, former eBay CEO John Donahoe (who now runs ServiceNow) and the heads of corporate development from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Cisco.
Towering over the other featured guests -- physically at least -- was Bill Gurley from venture capital firm Benchmark.
A 6-foot-9 Texan and former Wall Street analyst known for his sharp commentary on the capital markets and criticism of cash-burning unicorns, the 51-year-old Gurley has had a remarkable year. He helped lead the Stitch Fix IPO in November and made a pretty penny from Snap's public market debut, with Benchmark holding over $2 billion of shares in the company after the March offering. On Thursday, health-tech start-up Brighter was acquired by Cigna.
Benchmark's 2017 exits