Like many of my friends and colleagues, I was touched by this heartfelt post by Dave McClure yesterday. This part really rings true to me:
and so here I am: still standing in the arena, in hand-to-hand combat with demons mostly of my own making, aiming to make a small dent in the universe. nowhere near a great success story, yet fighting the good fight and perhaps helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own. I’ll be 46 in a month, well past the age when most folks have already shown what they’re made of. but I’m still grasping for that brass ring.
That one paragraph packs a lot of emotion and pattern recognition for me in it.
Going hand to hand with demons of your own making. Check.
Nowhere near a success story. Check.
Well past the age when most folks have already shown what they are made of. Check.
Still grasping for that brass ring. Check.
I could have written this exact post five years ago. When I was Dave's age.
Venture capital doesn't create 20 something millionaires. The prime of your career in VC is the late 40s. Right where Dave is.
I am not exactly sure when I stopped feeling all these things that Dave is feeling. But I did. It happened sometime in the past few years. And I am happier for it. But also worried that I don't have that big chip on my shoulder anymore. We will see.
But the best line of all is the one that I ganked for the headline of this post. Helping others to achieve greatness is what VC is all about. If you do it well, you achieve a bit of it yourself along the way. But you have to do the first to get the second. Dave understands that. And so I think he'll get his brass ring soon enough.