Welcome to my new blog. “Daring Journey” is the best phrase I can come up with to describe what an entrepreneur goes through when they set up their own business and begin taking on the world. But it could just as well be applied to life itself. My blog is about this journey and its intersection with other parts of my life, especially the worlds of investing and technology.
During my childhood I was captivated by my father’s stories of being an entrepreneur. It all sounded so exciting to the point where I never really considered doing anything else. Dad is the ultimate entrepreneur who still has a huge amount of passion for what he does and made money in all kinds of weird and wonderful markets including sweatshirts, wigs, jewelry and herbs and spices.
In persuading John Sculley to leave his top job at Pepsi and join the then fledgling Apple, Steve Jobs famously said – ‘Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world.’ And this is how I feel about being an entrepreneur as compared to working in a large organization. I look at working in a large company like being a member of the crew on an ocean tanker. The ship has a well-established modus operandi, the destination has already been decided and to alter your course at this stage would be pretty much impossible. Some people are more comfortable in this environment with the security and order that it brings. But it’s not for me.
Being an entrepreneur really gives you the chance to change the world or at least your little piece of it. It gives you a chance to challenge the way you find things and to prove you can do better. It gives you the chance to turn your dreams into reality, to do things your own way and to experience the highs and the lows in a way that you could never do working for someone else. This is surely the ultimate daring journey.
I’m determined to bring more entrepreneurial empathy to the investment world. As a VC I’m now in a position to help entrepreneurs by investing in their companies. But for me being a successful VC is about much more than the money. It’s about being a mentor, a friend and an advisor along every step of the daring journey.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in a number of successful businesses and I’ve learnt so much along the way. We did lots of things really well but we also made our fair share of mistakes. I think this experience will make me a better investor and more able to support entrepreneurs in a wide range of ways. I hope that it will also provide lots of material for this blog.