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Starring: Arthur Rock, Tom Perkins, Gordon Moore, Jimmy Treybig
Director: Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller
|“Writing the check is the easy part.” Genentech, Apple, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, … none of them would exist, nor would hundreds of others that created billions of dollars worth of new wealth by delivering new inventions. More than the money – though there was that – venture capitalists brought expertise in management and marketing, guiding start-ups, connecting people with each other, sometimes even making the most difficult of all decisions, to fire the founder CEO for the good of the company.|
"I could have had a third of Apple for $50,000.... They wanted to pay us in stock, but what is Microsoft stock worth? So, we took cash."
We all make mistakes, but generally, these are the people who saw opportunity where others saw only risk. Salomon Brothers was only one of the very many East Coast companies that did not feel comfortable investing with West Coast companies engaged in untried - or nonexistent - markets.
Some products - the Tandem fault-tolerant computer; PowerPoint presentation software; Cisco routers - did meet clear needs and did win ready markets. But they had other problems of culture and organization (or the lack of it). Venture capitalists addressed those problems, also, in their roles as board members, or advisors.