Doriot Quote Of The Day

Our troubles have principally been human ones. People who seemingly showed good potential and who even proved excellent in being able to start something but then do not make the grade later on. But, like a child in school, you don’t – you can’t – let him down just because he flunks in one grade or class. You continue to hope.

Georges Doriot, speaking to ARD shareholders at the 1959 annual shareholders meeting

In this regard, nothing has changed in fifty years of venture capital investing. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. davidu

    That’s why it’s critically important for an entrepreneur to pick the investors for his first company very carefully. To be successful, the partnership has to be symbiotic. If the entrepreneur is tech-savvy but not a finance guy, a bookkeeper isn’t enough, the venture firm’s CFO should be leveraged to provide guidance and training to the CEO. If the entrepreneur is smart and a visionary, but lacks management skills, the venture firm should be providing guidance on leadership, management, hiring, firing, morale, etc. Some of it you hope the entrepreneur already has, but everybody benefits from re-learning or being reminded of what makes great companies operate and execute successfully.And as this quote points out, it’s important that the partnership maintain its level of involvement as long as the firm is invested. Too often I see investors suffer from ADD and get bored with a company (even if it’s doing well, heck, especially if its doing well) and stop paying much attention. The outcome is rarely positive on the company. An active, involved board and venture firm provides far more value than cash. At least, that’s been my experience.Good quote though, I’ve got the book on its way. 🙂

  2. derrick

    Couldn’t agree more. How often have we all seen what appears to be a great idea, even with a little momentum. Then one year into the effort, there is kaos – lack of meeting critical milestones and ridiculous internal politics that will do nothing but eat the company from the inside out. Everyone wonders why investors want the most critical roles filled by those who have done it before…

  3. patwoodward

    Of all the quotes so far, this one jumped off the screen at me.

  4. Dan Weinreb

    You continue to hope? Well, yes, but you also give them assistance and help them hire people who can do the things that they’re not so good at.I got a copy of the book as a little prize at the Nantucket Conference and am looking forward to reading it. My first startup, Symbolics Inc, actually was funded by AR&D (among others) (Jean de Valpine was our board member).

    1. fredwilson

      That’s awesome. The guys who taught me the vc business knew and worked with doriot. His contributions were pounded into me at a young age