A great article by Rohan Silva in yesterday's Standard. Most successful Executives I know cite their mentors as being amongst the most important people in their lives, family aside.
Its great to see that culture of mentoring and reinvesting really taking hold in Europe. Articles often compare London to Silicon Valley - almost as if it were a competition. The truth is that whilst the growth of the tech market in London is truly exciting, the gulf between London and SIlicon Valley remains enormous. It's a generational gap - one that cannot be closed in years, only decades. People forget that the seeds for Silicon Valley's success today were sown in the 1950s. One of the most important components of that ecosystem - and the primordial soup from which our future European global tech behemoths will emanate - is the availability of advice from great leaders who are happy to share their wisdom, and invest, in the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Leveraging talent - great mentors included - is the most impactful thing an Executive can do. To build a great company you need three things:
- A good product
- Money for investment in growth
- A great team
Of these #3 is the most important/impactful. As a wise man once said "It's all about the people, people". If you don't have a mentor - then you really should make that your New Years resolution.
When we think about hyper-successful entrepreneurs, we tend to see them as lottery winners — they’ve struck it lucky, and if only we’d been in the right place at the right time, it could have been us. The truth is that all great founders — from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg — went through immensely difficult periods, when everything was a huge battle and nothing seemed to work. What’s interesting is that in California, where many of the world’s biggest technology companies are built, entrepreneurs who have been through The Struggle see it as their responsibility to help the next generation get through the pain barrier.