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不忘初心是企业家的一种美德

Adam Lashinsky 2017年12月14日

即使获得了巨大的成功,也要像初学者一样谦逊,愿意学习新事物。

传递火炬:帕特里克夫(中)与合伙人伊恩·西格罗(左)和达娜·塞特尔在Greycroft纽约办事处的厨房里。两位年轻的合伙人正逐渐接过大旗,领导这家风投公司 | 图片:Robyn Twomey

全球最优秀的企业家之一杰夫·贝佐斯常常谈到“初心”的重要性。它指的是即使获得了巨大的成功,也要像初学者一样谦逊,愿意学习新事物。它也指模仿年轻人的行为,即使对于贝佐斯这样离风华正茂的三十岁已经过去了几十年的人。

《财富》的杰夫·罗伯茨今天早上发表了一篇令人喜爱的专题文章,谈到了科技界另一位拥有初心的成熟领袖。这位经验丰富的风险资本和私人股本投资者名叫艾伦·帕特里克夫,现年82岁,不过他的渴望堪比只有他年龄三分之一的年轻人。通过对苹果(Apple)和美国在线(AOL)等公司的投资,他取得了成功,不过与他相处一会,你就会感受到他对寻找下一家科技和媒体领袖的发自本能的渴望。作为民主党的资金筹集人、度假胜地汉普顿斯的常客和科技会议厅的光顾者,帕特里克夫的进取心与硅谷砂山路(Sand Hill Road)里的合伙人不相上下,但他的成就要高得多。

我对那些举止与年龄不相称的“成熟”人士感到惊奇。毫无疑问,他们的雄心开始减退:许多人也不愿意为下一代人让路。但帕特里克夫没有这种问题。他放权给了一群年轻投资者,主要是他的合伙人达娜·塞特尔(她也是我多年的好友)和伊恩·西格罗。他们与帕特里克夫共同创建了Greycroft Partners,并负责了公司最近的投资。

帕特里克夫的故事里还有另一个元素讨人喜欢:公司的业务范围主要在纽约和洛杉矶,与风投公司真正青睐的硅谷相比,这些只是二流地区。正如中国已经不再是盲目的模仿者一样,Greycroft证明了在休闲裤和羽绒背心盛行的旧金山湾区的投资圈之外,同样有机会获得成功。

初学者,不分老少,都有要证明的事情。有时候他们确实做到了。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, speaks frequently of the virtues of having a “beginner’s mind.” It’s a metaphor for affecting the humility of a novice, a willingness to learn new things despite having already found great success. It’s also a euphemism for feigning the attributes of the youth even if, like Bezos, your 30s are decades in the rear-view mirror.

Fortune’s Jeff Roberts has written a lovely feature article, published online this morning, about another mature tech-industry leader with a beginner’s mind. Alan Patricof, a seasoned venture-capital and private-equity investor, is 82 but has the hunger of a man a third his age. He found success with investments like Apple (AAPL, +1.94%) and AOL, but spend just a little time with Patricof and you’ll feel his visceral desire to find the next tech and media leaders. A Democratic party fundraiser, Hamptons habitue, and a tech-conference hall rat, Patricof is as aggressive as any wet-behind-the-ears associate on Sand Hill Road—but far more accomplished.

I marvel at the “mature” people I know who refuse to act their age. There’s undoubtedly a downside to their ambition: Many won’t get out of the way for the next generation. That doesn’t appear to be Patricof’s problem. He has empowered a bevy of younger investors, primarily his partners Dana Settle (a friend of mine for many years) and Ian Sigalow, who are responsible for the more recent hits of the firm they founded with Patricof, Greycroft Partners.

There’s another endearing element to the Greycroft story: The firm’s networks primarily are in New York and Los Angeles, perennial second fiddles to the only venture-capital market that truly matters, Silicon Valley. Just as China is no mere copycat anymore, Greycroft shows that it’s possible to succeed outside the nice-slacks-and-down-vest world of the San Francisco Bay Area investment world.

Beginners, young and old, have something to prove. And sometimes they do.

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