Category - Quotes



“Starting a company is like getting married. Most of the problems are discovered after the honeymoon is over.” — General Georges Doriot (1899-1987), American Research and Development Corporation 

“A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath them.” — Henry Kravis, Founder KKR

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900 – 1944), Author of “The Little Prince”



I think it is fitting to start with a quote from Brigadier General Georges Doriot, who many (including myself) consider as the father of modern venture capital. He was a French immigrant to the US who serve din  the army and rose to the rank of Brigadier General (1 star) during WWII. After the war, he started American Research and Development Corporation, the first publicly-traded venture capital firm. It was formed with the goal of encouraging investment in businesses run by returning soldiers. ARDC wound up investing in Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which eventually returned 5,000x (not a typo) to ARDC. The fact that ARDC was public eventually gave rise to its undoing, but not before General Doriot was a huge success and an industry was born. Georges eventually went on to found INSEAD business school. I think his quotes are classic, and I’ll kick off this series with one of my favorites:

“Too many bankers and counselors have forgotten the history of the early years of our industrial giants of today. The first fifteen years of companies and of human beings are very much alike: hope, measles, failures, mumps, reorganizations, scarlet fever, executive troubles, whooping cough, etc. are parts of one’s daily life. Hopes, disillusions, hard work, are all necessary, particularly during the first ten or fifteen years before a stable and healthy body or corporation can begin to exist.”

Copyright © 2014 Jason Heltzer