Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hunger, Vision, Money

"If you kick it around enough, it starts to look like a ball."
- Skip Shuda

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it."
- Michelangelo
"Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
—Albert Einstein
Google's Newest Venture: Google Ventures

Why would someone, anyone come with me now? I am not a certified engineer. I am not rich. I feel like I have been both a high school and a college dropout. Why come along? Why come with me? Why team up with me? Why invest in my round one? Why believe?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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"The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become a millionaire in the first place."
- Jim Rohn
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"An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he'll quickly learn how to chew it.
- Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

You have to feel the hunger. Everyone I know is online. If that is your line, you might not have the hunger. You have to have a passion for search to go work for Google. To connect every human mind to the web, and then some. That is the vision statement for my startup. If you don't feel for the five billion plus that are not online, you are not coming along. That's the bargain. You have to liberate a people if you are serious. Once a people can vote, they are in a position to help themselves. Internet access is the voting right for this 21st century. Today Mahatma Gandhi would have poured his energy into internet access for the billions. MLK would have . It is broadband that will bridge the gap between the west and the rest.

I grew up in the poorest country outside of Africa. I have the hunger. Do you? You don't have to have grown up in a poor country to have the hunger. You could simply care.

People who can't pay for food, how will they pay for broadband? They can pay because every human being has something called mindspace. Every human being is capable of consuming ads. I can't think of one village on the planet where Coke does not want to put up a billboard. They want to keep reinforcing the brand name. (Brands Will Still Matter) Broadband catalyzes work on all the other noble goals like fighting poverty, liberating people, conquering hunger and disease. Electricity is fundamental to economic activity. Broadband is like that, only much, much bigger.
"Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming."
- Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Enterprises
"I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent."
- Thomas Edison
Are you someone who gets excited by new ideas? If new ideas threaten you, this is not for you. Do blinding visions blind you, or do they awaken you, stretch you? Are you too comfortable in your comfort zone? Are you risk averse as a rule? Or can you stretch? Because this startup has a panoramic vision. The idea is not to set up a corner coffee shop. The vision has global ambitions. This is not for the faint hearted.
"We were young, but we had good advice and good ideas and lots of enthusiasm."
- Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation
"The cover-your-butt mentality of the workplace will get you only so far. The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business--but it's a whole lot more fun, don't you think?"
- Bill Rancic
If you have 100,000 dollars to invest, you should put 10K into this, or something like this. Most people never get an opportunity to come into the round one of a company that is headed for Nasdaq. If you have 10K to invest, you would be lucky to put 2K into something like this. Because the growth is astronomical. This is the oil beneath the ground in your backyard you did not know about. This is your winning lottery ticket. The risks are huge. That is why the rewards are humongous. To invest, to team up. Oh, the lure.

If a company's valuation goes from five million to 50 billion in 20 years, a $2,000 investment in round one has become 20,000,000. What could you on your own do to take your 2,000 to 20,000,000 in about 20 years? Many companies have achieved this kind of a growth trajectory before. This is no science fiction. This is history.

The rewards are huge for those who invest early, and team up early. I have not made a final decision on the formula for ownership stakes yet, but broadly speaking, earlier you join the team and higher up you are on the team chart, more your share. Anyone who leaves or is asked to leave before the company goes public goes to zero ownership. I want to come up with a new formula that is fair also to people who might team up five years after the company has gone public.
"My son is now an 'entrepreneur'. That's what you're called when you don't have a job."
- Ted Turner, broadcasting entrepreneur
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Robert F. Kennedy, Cabinet Room, White House, ...Image via Wikipedia

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- Robert F. Kennedy

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"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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