Something Ventured

Something Ventured

Risk, Reward, and the Original Venture Capitalists

DVD - 2011
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"Something ventured tells the story of the creation of an industry that went on to become the greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. It is told by the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen: Tom Perkins, Don Valentine, Arthur Rock, Dick Kramlich and others. The film also includes some of our finest entrepreneurs sharing how they worked with these venture capitalists to grow world-class companies like Intel, Cisco, Atari, Genentech, Tandem and others"--Case.
Publisher: [New York] : Zeitgeist Films, c2011.
Edition: Educational ed.
Branch Call Number: 658.15 SOMETHING
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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mikemarotta
Dec 31, 2017

This film glorifies that individualist tradition of entrepreneurship and investment capital. No formula exists. No formula can exist. Each of the venture capitalists in this documentary has a unique narrative. In every case it reduces to the same primary: “I thought that it was a good idea.” Not everything turns a profit. Ultimately, something does, some ventures do.

Arthur Rock grew up clerking in his father’s candy store from the time he was six or seven. Don Valentine’s father was a union organizer and once he understood what a union was, they fought constantly. Dennis Kramlich was about twelve or thirteen when he bought half a freight car of light bulbs from Sylvania and sold them from his wagon. “I called it the Bright Boy Lightbulb Company.” Tom Perkins earned a degree in electrical engineering from MIT and found the work incredibly boring. He then went to Harvard Business School where his professor, George Doriot, taught a unique class in entrepreneurship. (Doriot’s own company, American Research and Development, made only one insightful commitment, to Ken Olsen’s Digital Equipment Corporation.) Doriot’s students included Perkins, Kramlich, Pitch Johnson, and Bill Draper.

“At the time we started Genentech, there was no such thing as genetic engineering. The risks were enormous.”
A quarter million invested in Genentech in 1976 became $47billion when sold to La Roche in 2009. Five million invested in Intel became $90 million. $1.4 million invested in Tandem Computers in 1974 became $3 billion when Compaq bought the company in 1997.
I was told by a guy at Salomon Brothers, "We’ve heard the pitch, but you did not go to Harvard Business School.” -- Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital, investors in Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Electronic Arts and LSI Logic.
“There are no firm rules in the venture capital business, except that there are no firm rules.” Reid Dennis
“I would trust him with my life, but not with my money.” Eugene Kleiner.
"You gotta get money from strong people because weak people don’t invest in tough times, but that is when most of the big winners are created. ”Jimmy Treybig, co-founder Tandem Computers.
“I am not interested in entrepreneurs who want to do things our way. I am not interested in entrepreneurs who come with a dress code. I am interested in entrepreneurs who want to something new that preferably becomes big.” -- Don Valentine

PowerPoint was like the Night of the Living Dead, a company that never failed, but just sucked a lot of life out of other people…. until it was sold to Microsoft…

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