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October 22, 2009


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks for the pointer to that great quote, Rick.

So what I want to understand is the inconsistency in the referenced post between only investing in young entrepreneurs and yet wanting someone who's learned from experience and failure. I started 2 companies in my 20s, both of which were successful for someone else but learning experiences for me, so my take on young entrepreneurs is that the odds are stacked completely against them. Their main hope is getting guidance and support from more experienced mentors, whether an angel, good VCs, or just a mensch. The exceptions (Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg) are, IMO, one in a million - not good odds.

I'm just now firing on all cylinders, knowing all of the potholes to avoid as I take my early laps round the startup track. So why the outright prejudice against my gray hair, and just how widespread do you think it is, in your experience?

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