Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Andy Bechtolsheim: 100K To 1.5 Billion Through Google

This is a remarkable story. A hundred thousand dollars turned into a billion and a half dollars in a decade: that is utmost remarkable. There is no lottery, no Vegas that can give you that kind of a return.

A lot of people could cough up the 100K if they had to. The question is what was Andy doing at the right time at the right place? What was he doing at that Stanford faculty's home that particular morning?

Andy had been one of the founders of Sun a decade and a half before he wrote that small check. And he has done several remarkable things since. This is not your fancy yacht billionaire. But writing that one small check is the most remarkable thing Andy ever did, or will ever do. That 100K check is significant.

Now over a decade later geography is less limiting. Every startup at the stage that Google was at the time has a Twitter page, a Facebook page, perhaps a blog these days. They are all online. Could you spot a Google at that early stage? Would you write a check? Or would you forgo the opportunity to make a quick billion?

Andy had been "seeing things" for a while before that moment. Andy had rare eyes. It was not just the money. Many people had that kind of money. It was the act of seeing that really carried the day.

Google is the next Google. There is no next Google on the web. But there are Googles in nanotech, biotech, clean tech still. They are out there. There is a Google out there in microfinance.

And the web itself will stay young like the human mind.

Could you spot an opportunity to put 100K to see it grow to maybe 100 million? What about 20K to see it grow to 10 million? Could you? Bill Gates says at a few million dollars you achieve financial freedom. Beyond that it's just numbers. Could you go look out for your financial freedom with the 20K you might have? That's a lot of people. 20K is not a lot of money for a lot of people.

Andy Bechtolsheim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sept. 7, 1998: If the Check Says 'Google Inc.,' We're 'Google Inc.' Brin and Page .. took an instant disliking for one another ..... Their technology was solid, but not solid enough to impress either the money boys or the major internet portals, so they continued struggling for financial support. Enter Andy Bechtolsheim
Andy Bechtolsheim is first Google investor August 1998 Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim writes a check for $100,000 to an entity that doesn't exist yet -- a company called Google Inc.
Andy Bechtolsheim on Google Mafia: Tech News “When people are part of a new company that gets very successful very quickly, such as Google (but this effect is by no means limited to Google), they sometimes confuse the root of this success and incorrectly assume that the success was due to their own actions. They then want to translate this experience to other opportunities, either in the same or in related spaces, which in some cases may turn out, but in most cases will fail, just like the majority of all VC investments fail. … The only thing different about the Google mafia compared to other similar periods in history is that more money was made at Google by more people (and more money will be lost here).”
Billionaire Thinks in Trillions for His Computer Designs - New York Times despite becoming one of the richest people in the world, he remains obsessed with designing ever more powerful computers .... amazing blend of artist and engineer ..... Bechtolsheim’s 18-hour-a-day dedication to computer design ..... has founded three successful companies ..... The initial $100,000 check he wrote to the Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page is an investment now worth more than $1.5 billion. ..... still clad in Birkenstock sandals and still dressed like a graduate student. ..... it was routine to begin exchanging e-mail messages with Sun’s chief architect when it was 5 a.m. in California, then complete their conversations as late as midnight West Coast time when he was starting the next day’s work in Europe. ..... Bechtolsheim took a job in a machine shop while in high school in rural Germany ..... by the time he graduated from high school he was earning more than his father. ..... “He works 18 hours a day and he’s very disciplined. Every computer he has built has been the fastest of its generation.”
Happy Birthday, Google! - Search Engine Watch (SEW) Five years ago, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their tiny company. The reason? So they could cash a $100,000 personal check that had been sitting in Page's desk drawer for a couple of weeks. .... a search engine they called "BackRub" ..... "The investment created a small dilemma. There was no way to deposit the check since there was no legal entity known as 'Google Inc.' It sat in Larry's desk drawer for a couple of weeks while he and Sergey scrambled to set up a corporation and locate a few other funders among family, friends and acquaintances. Ultimately, they brought in a total initial investment of almost $1 million." ..... on June 7 1999, the company announced that it had secured a round of funding that included $25 million from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers.
Five Characteristics of America's Most Successful Entrepreneur | BNET cofounded Sun Microsystems, invented the workstation, was Google’s first investor (now worth about $1 Billion), and founded or funded a laundry list of successful companies. He was also a VP at Cisco for 7 years...... He doesn’t over-think, which can lead to analysis paralysis..... “We met him [Andy] … on the porch of a Stanford faculty member’s home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, so he said, instead of us discussing all the details, why don’t I just write you a check? It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000.” ........ “One mistake a lot of start-ups make with the encouragement of venture capitalists is to hire the whole management team upfront,” said Mr. Bechtolsheim. “You have a lot of people twiddling their thumbs and spending money.”
Google Apps gets big boost from Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim "Being able to put the document in one place so everyone can see the latest version and actually collaborate on the same document is hard to do in a normal PC environment," he said..... "My advice to every start-up is to use Google Apps," Bechtolsheim wrote in his blog post. "It saves you from having huge headaches, it is very inexpensive, and just a better system. We also use some other cloud services such as for customer relationship management, Netsuite for our database and Amazon to host our Web site. Cloud computing works great for us. I would never buy another server to bring these functions in-house."
Andy Bechtolsheim profit from Google
Andy Bechtolsheim | CrunchBase Profile

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