"A Pro invests as much money, as many times, for as long as required for the situation to attain Clarity. This Clarity allows only two outcomes, Dead or Liquid. When a Pro declines the invitation to invest in a follow-on round, it means they’ve reached Clarity: In the eyes of the Pro who declines to invest, the company is Dead, their initial stake is worthless. Write it off and move on, no tears, no recriminations."
At the time, I figured: yeah, they seem to be in a bit of a pickle, but they've been in business for 10 or 11 years now. They will find a way to get through this, like they have so many times before.
Seven months after I started, the company went out of business and I got laid off. Shows how much I know!
by the time i got there, the company was pretty much dead. we were working on the Sony eVilla, which nobody believed in. it was a massive failure.
after that, i lost my taste for “the big leagues.” i am not willing to go through the standard “implement a b-tree on a whiteboard” interview, and i always want to work remotely, so no google, microsoft, facebook, amazon (etc) jobs for me. i have been working in small shops since then.
But I didn't fully understand the justification for that, was it in the article and I missed it?
Is it just that:
- friends get annoyed with you if they get diluted,
- and that eventually the money runs out and you'd want to have investors with basically unlimited funds so you can go back to them for future rounds?
Or were there other reasons?
His point on Clarity is also spot on:
> A Pro invests as much money, as many times, for as long as required for the situation to attain Clarity. This Clarity allows only two outcomes, Dead or Liquid. When a Pro declines the invitation to invest in a follow-on round, it means they’ve reached Clarity: In the eyes of the Pro who declines to invest, the company is Dead, their initial stake is worthless. Write it off and move on, no tears, no recriminations.
featuring steve horowitz
I would have loved BeOS to succeed, but perhaps that memo shows a lot about why Be failed.
That note does seem totally cool on a technical level, but I wonder, was the thing that Be needed (as a company) most, at the time that memo was written, the things in that memo? I mean having "live drag" of folders is nice, but is that the sort of reason someone choose an OS or a computer?
I mean, I reckon, when developing a product, you need to focus on the "critical path" from where you are now to having a product everyone wants to buy. Live folder dragging, while nice, isn't on it I reckon. Maybe MIME content-types instead of file extensions isn't either. And while your developers are working on things that aren't on the critical path, you have the opportunity cost that they could have been working on something that was on the critical path.
What do you think?
Honestly my feeling as a developer is that go to market is really hard. I know how to solve technical problems. I don't know that there is a consistent and reliable way to get customers. Be's problem was that, plus more, because of Microsoft. Microsoft is very much a different company now.
Disrupting such a market is of course the goal of any small innovator who needs cooperation from the other market participants.
Hmm. Not sure this comment of mine advamces the conversation here. But anyway "willingness to be a thug" is perhaps necessary to create a singularity like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, but not sufficient. And I'm not sure it's even necessary.
But even then, their IBM deal was almost a scam (exagerating of course). They sold something they didn't even have at the time.. high risk gambling mentality. It's a bit similar to roughing competition up.
Sorta like a self published book, it looks like a vanity project more than a thing that can survive in the world independent of its creator.