Friday, September 15, 2017

The tough road.

When watching the movie Lion, there is a scene, early on, where the little boy, lost in India, finds a caring woman. She gives him food, and a safe bed. He’s been lost and scared for so long, it looks like he’ll finally be safe. However, the next day, it is clear that he’s in danger, so as much as he doesn’t want to head back into the streets – he runs. He knows that the road is hard, but he has to keep walking it.

I stepped down as CEO of Edisun fourteen months ago. I’ve been on a long journey myself. I spent six months in Colombia, learning Spanish and meeting Latin American investors. I have spent significant time trying to forward my mission of venture investing in energy/food/water technology companies. Several times I thought I had reached my goal of returning to the investing side. It’s been a tough road, and recently, with my promotion to Managing Director of a local family office, I had thought I’d finally found my destination.

I’m passionate about venture capital investing. Ten years ago I was a young, junior partner at a firm in Australia. I led the firm’s biggest investment and biggest exit. I then returned to Pasadena to start several companies at Idealab, and co-found many others. I’ve been deeply involved in energy technology companies since 1993, and I know why many of the companies have struggled along the way. As founder/CEO of two energy companies, I know first hand why these companies struggle.

I respect the transparency of Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, and Mark Suster. I’m passionate about the opportunities in Southern California, and my home in Pasadena. I feel that technology, driven by world-class education and R&D, will pay off many times over. So, I’m putting myself out there on my blog to show my vulnerabilities. Along the way, I’ve taught a class at USC, helped a fuel cell company with their investors, and helped bring capital to a solar company that I deeply care about. The road has been rough, but the view has been worth yet.

Yet, I must acknowledge that I have not yet found my destination. As much as it pains me, I must pull on my boots again, and put on my wet, cold jacket and head back out into the rain. I am not yet where I need to be to grow, and to provide value to the world. Like so many fellow entrepreneurs, I know the value of this phase:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
And I shall.

Kipling, Rudyard. "If"

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