At NEA , we’ve been lucky to work with some of the world’s most extraordinary entrepreneurs — the founders of Silicon Graphics, Juniper, WebMD, TiVo , Salesforce.com, Groupon— and I’m frequently asked what makes a great entrepreneur.
To me, great entrepreneurs are artists: they see things others can’t—or see things in ways others can’t. They are powerfully visionary and slightly irrational. Entrepreneurs believe that their idea will succeed against overwhelming evidence that it will not (and often an outright absence of evidence that it will). Why else do they frequently walk away from high-paying jobs, take out second mortgages on their homes, and make huge personal sacrifices to bring their ideas to life?
The very best entrepreneurs I’ve encountered don’t think of their work as a choice.It’s a vocation and a necessity: to do anything else would be a waste of a life. We should all be thrilled these people exist. Last week on NPR’s “Car Talk,” the Tappet brothers—encouraging a caller to carry out his plan to put a Prius engine into an antique Ford—asked, “How else does humanity make progress without crackpots, screwballs, and nutjobs, who are willing to do something that’s never been done before?”Page 1 of 2 | Next Page