Just fun. There are hundreds of lessons, insights, stories, and moments of, “Oh, you too!? That makes me feel better.” There are a couple key lessons that are worth noting, and a closing quote which I found quite apropos.
Lesson 1: Right place, right time, right person. While many know of being in the “right place at the right time,” I would suggest it is also critical to be “the right person,” the third leg of the serendipity stool. While there is no doubt that these men and women had some providential luck, had they not done the hard work to become the kind of people they were, place and time become essentially irrelevant. Never stop working on becoming the right kind of person that can capture the right kind of moment.
Lesson 2: If failure is not an option, neither is success. Even to this day, venture capitalists will tell you that 90% of their investments do not make a return. What they’re hoping for is that 10% that will have massive returns. So goes the saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” This is a high risk discipline, and one’s tolerance for failure must be robust.
Lesson 3: “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 25:29). This “Matthew paradox/principle” as it is sometimes called (a misnomer, for this saying is also found in the gospel of Mark) is true for venture capital. There are several take-away’s. First, that anyone who has an abundance should be careful to be humble, for there truly is no such thing as a “self-made” millionaire. Second, this is a fundamental principle of philanthropy, how to develop populations through economic prosperity. So, all of us, all of us, stand on the shoulders of others, and we should be humble in perspective, thankful in attitude, and generous in reciprocation.
Lesson 4: Though the future is not always seen, it is always created. It is easy to see in retrospect how investing in Apple Inc. would have been a great move. It is equally easy to see how so many turned down that opportunity, a decision that many regretted. What is important to note is that many extremely experienced and smart people just didn’t see what Apple could become. In addition, it never would have become the Apple of today had Jobs and Wosniak not worked terribly hard to make it so.