This is an embarrassing confession when I think back on how little I knew and how much I thought I knew. At the height of the dot-com/Linux boom, maybe 1999, picture a restaurant in Palo Alto, one of the favored business dinner, super expensive, not-so-great Italian ones they have in the Valley. A group of men (the diversity of Silicon Valley) is discussing the possible acquisition of our infant business by a new start up that already had serious VC funding.
I was basically a technologist/academic and didn’t know, or even have a guess about the extent of my business ignorance. Everyone else at the table knew though. There was a lot of heady talk of big money and the usual Silicon Valley bombast about changing the world to go with the multiple bottles of wine and at some point, for no good reason that I can imagine now, I blurted out “I’m not primarily in it for the money“. Maybe it was just nerves. The primary VC looked at me, over the table, with an expression of great, vast, immeasurable, satisfaction and said something to the effect of, “Don’t worry, I will take care of the money” And I suddenly understood.