It’s All About The Entrepreneur

I’m in Minneapolis with my partner Seth. We had a meeting at Best Buy headquarters, met with a gang from the Mayo Clinic who drove up from Rochester, spent the afternoon at the Techstars Retail Accelerator which is at Target headquarters, and had dinner with Revolar. We are at the Techstars Retail Accelerator again today, then at Leadpages for a board meeting, and wrapping up with an internal Target event and an external startup community event put on by Beta.MN.

It’s two full days of immersion in the Minneapolis startup community. As I crawled into bed last night after jamming through my email, I smiled and thought to myself that Seth and I had a good day with a bunch of people talking about the power of entrepreneurship – and how the entrepreneurs are the leaders – while getting to work with a bunch of entrepreneurs.

I woke up to Fred Wilson’s post Understanding VCs and nodded my way through it. I particularly loved how he started.

VCs are not heroes. We are just one part of the startup ecosystem. We provide the capital allocation function and are rewarded when we do it well and eventually go out of business when we don’t do it well. I know. I’ve gone out of business for not doing it well.

If there are heroes in the startup ecosystem, they are the entrepreneurs who take the biggest risks and create the products, services, and companies that we increasingly rely on as tech seeps into everything.

What Fred said.

VCs – go read his post and reflect on it.

Entrepreneurs – go read his post and take it to heart.

Fred – thanks for saying it so well in your inimitable direct style. Understanding VCs is one for the books …


Also published on Medium.

  • Great town. One of my fav places. I know you won’t get a chance because of your schedule, but you need to get up to the Boundary Waters. One of the prettiest drives in America is Duluth north to Canada along Gitche Gumee

  • Minneapolis is nice, but Best Buy? Are you current on your shots?

    • What’s your issue with Best Buy?

    • Al Baker

      Seems like someone like Brad is exactly who Best Buy should be meeting with. That said, we are partners of theirs and they are innovating on the B2B channel and Geek Squad which are growth areas of theirs and have been very beneficial for our company.

  • Exactly.
    At the end of the day, the entrepreneurs are the real heroes who sacrifice and win in the marketplace.

  • Sam

    My favorite part… “What I recommend to entrepreneurs is to listen carefully but not act too quickly. Get multiple points of view on important issues and decisions. And then carefully consider what to do with all of that information, filter it with your values, your vision, and your gut instinct.” Looking forward to seeing you and Seth at Beta.MN tonight.

  • Encouraging words for entrepreneurs. I remember Dan Martell applauding entrepreneurs by saying *Just look around you. Everything. All created by an entrepreneur. It’s a
    special thing to realize. I have so much gratitude and admiration for
    people who create for others.* Here is the URL of his post: http://www.danmartell.com/a-salut-to-the-entrepreneur/

  • JC Landry

    Awesome to see the VC community in our home town of Minneapolis. Scrimmage was founded in the city and we have found a great crew of programmers and client support experts in the city who have helped us expand around the globe. What we find just as important as the entrepreneur are the talented men and women willing to risk leaving a secure future at a large company for the uncertainty and craziness of a startup. As leaders we can show them the vision and the path forward but I commend their courage in taking the plunge that is so important in any startups success.

  • Al Baker

    Thanks for stopping through and investing your time with our community. Beta.MN and all of the companies you mentioned are among some of the strongest in a growing community.