Sunday, April 10, 2005

Like Sasquatch

Paul Kedrosky, on his blog Infectious Greed (a must-read!) contemplates the difficulty VCs have in finding the Successful Serial Entreprenuers.

It is admittedly a guess, but my hunch is that for every ten entrepreneurs who has a seven-figure exit from their first venture only five or six bother to try again. And for every ten that has an eight- or nine-digit success the number of repeats falls even faster, rapidly heading towards one -- or, asymptotically, toward zero. (Granted these ratios change from country-to-country and era-to-era, but it is a good first approximation.)

Why the die-off in repeat entrepreneurs? Because frankly, even entrepreneurs are prone to saying no mas. Faced with the idea of 18-hour days and seven-day work weeks people are happy to sit on boards, advise other companies, travel, become venture capitalists, ski, fix their house, do angel investing, and so on. They don't feel as obliged as entrepreneurship dogma says they do to do it all again. After all, if they were more eager to do it again then it wouldn't be so darn hard as a venture capitalist to find more successful serial entrepreneurs -- they'd be everywhere, and they sure aren't.

As several people wrote in -- and I think this it's true -- the ones I know of are off funding their own companies far from the VCs rapacious grasp.