The richest man in the world — $62 billion and counting. (Photo: CBS/AP)
“Excuse me. Where is the most difficult to reach microphone?”
I was out of breath from running up the steps but had managed to find one of the microphone stands, manned by two headset-wearing volunteers.
More than 10,000 people had waited on the sidewalks overnight to be first in the doors of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, and I had made a choice: I would go for the mics instead of the front row.
Given a choice of shaking Warren Buffett’s hand for a five-second photo op or asking him a question, I opted for the latter, and in ten seconds, I’d be sprinting to the corner of the top floor. After all, lunch with Buffett once auctioned off for $620,100, and I’d planned it all out.
These are my notes on what happened and what I learned… Read More
Berkshire Hathaway vs. Nasdaq (orange), 1984-2004
I met David Hassell in Omaha at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, and he asked me an interesting question:
Do you think that the value of time can compound like interest?
Three glasses of wine into a post-event party with Cirque du Soleil performers, I didn’t have a good answer, but David recently sent me a thought-provoking e-mail I thought I’d share. Read More
The legendary John Doerr of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. (Photo: Thomas Hawk)
Total read time: 12-15 minutes.
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has mentored some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, including 7 of the Forbes Midas Touch members.
In fact, I volunteered for TiE when I first moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 to observe some of the best and brightest in action. I’m not Indian, but entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship. Consider this:
Today, TiE events are a parade of the Who’s Who among CEOs and VCs of Silicon Valley, from founding Sun Microsystems CEO… Vinod Khosla to former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta to former Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia, who sold his company to Microsoft in 1998 for $400 million. “TiE is the best kept secret,” says Bhatia, who in April launched a new startup InstaColl. Others jokingly call TiE “the Indian Mafia”, the invisible hand behind at least 300 startup companies at any given moment…
In expectation of TiE’s annual conference on entrepreneurship, TiECON 2009 (May 15/16), I asked four of its members, all accomplished venture capitalists at some of the world’s most prestigious firms, to answer questions about start-ups and finance that 35,000+ of you suggested via Twitter, plus a few I wanted to add. The questions include, among others:
What is the best pitch meeting that you remember and why?
What are the most common mistakes or assumptions smart founders make in pitch meetings with VCs?
What unfavorable terms do founders often miss or underestimate in term sheets?
How can someone get you to look at a business plan if they don’t know anyone in your network (e.g. outside Silicon Valley elite, didn’t go to Stanford)?
At the roundtable:
- Prashant Shah, Managing Director at Hummer Winblad
- Ajit Nazre, Kleiner Perkins
- Anil Patel, Principal at Clearstone Venture Partners
- Ravi Mohan, co-founder of Shasta Ventures
… Read More