This is a long message to officially apologize to my friend Eran Davidson at HPV – with a lot of background. I had a bad day – I forgot the power of my word – and I was angry (self generated rage is a huge driver for me).
A TUESDAY in Berlin, sept:
I had a good meeting with Rouvan and Eran Davidson (from Hasso Plattner Ventures) – about a new project Im doing – and since Im so much in love with it. I GOT FURIOUS (mostly at myself) WHEN THEY DID NOT WANT TO INVEST INSTANTLY. Most entrepreneurs who have been pitching projects to VCs turn the rage against investors – to keep motivated and survive the insane pressure – instead of giving up. I did so very much (same as many years ago when I was visiting 7-8 of the 40 investors who we pitched Skype – and ALL SAID NO!). I so much wanted Rouvan to invest (I wanted him and his brilliant brain on my side) – I wanted them just to take the deal – so that the new company would get going – and I should not do the normal 15-20 pitches to VCs/Fund/Investors I normally have to do to make a deal* happen. And the reason I went to Rouvan and Eran – was simple: They are some of the best in Europe – at what they do – AND they are some of the (only) guys who will survive financially. Most funds are just dying because they cant raise their next fund. Note: With Hasso Plattner as investor – they stand incredibly good, despite the global financial crisis.
*DEAL= raising money to a company I like -and where I believe in PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PRODUCT, TECHNOLOGY and TIMING.
Close your eyes for a second – and think about where you are in life. If you are just a bit like me – you have achieved a lot (maybe even gotten kids) and you are proud like hell (despite whatever fuckups and failures you have made….). But you will still think of yourself as a nobody – without any real idea of whats going on. I simply dont have that ability to take myself too serious. I doubt all the time – and Im driven by my doubt, curiosity and ambitions – plus my highly agressive inner voice that JUST WANTs TO WIN.
I never (or very very seldomly) think about the fact that – shit loads of people (You – my Highly Valued Reader) reads my blog – and that I speak in front of 50.000 people a year. It would make my nuts to think about it – and block my ability to dare to say, write nor preach anything. CONCLUSION: My inner self dont think I have any power – and Im sure that everyone knows that all I is: Hearth-driven - ideologic and with the purpose of creating change and happiness. PROBLEM ONE: I dont enjoy being any kind of negative!
I fight 100% for the things Im assigned to. I dont give up – (many people think that I just fly around – do my speaches – and the have nice dinners) – but I do sales meetings 3-6 times a day. On Phone, Skype, Location, Office – and during dinners and lunchs’s. Im pretty visionary – but nothing special – I mostly get / or go with medium ideas. In reality: Im a sales guy – and its my only asset. I love to sell ideas – and thereby create companies and movements. PROBLEM TWO: I dont enjoy when sales is difficult – and get agressive.
WHAT DO I ACTUALLY DO
I sell EVERBREAD, Tradeshift and 1-2 Deals* pr quater (just to stay in “deal” shape) – to partners, OTA’s, Airlines… – but most of my time (like many earlystage CEO’s) Im selling our companies and the visions to investors. And it takes 95% of my awake time – handling the relations – making information packages and nursing the VC’s who have interest – and handling the existing investors (BIG JOB). Because Im very positive and because I had a great childhood: I always communicate happily about where I am and what I think and what I do – but sometimes the world is not acting like I want – and underneath I get a bit grumphy (some would say older).
3 DAYs LATER in Berlin:
I was at the CEO Dinner – held by Hasso Plattner Ventrues and Team Europe – very nice dinner – very cool format: CEO gets to meet and promote themselfes to VCs – VCs gets access to talent and the people in power to buy the VC’s companies. SPOT ON, alligned interest. During dinner – I make a couple of jokes about Kite Venture (who is backing 2 of 3 deals I have done lately) and say that its a lottery fund – and that they are shit lucky (my way of saying smart, still self-ironic and humble) to have Russian passports and thereby have access to DST kind of BIG DO$… We have fun. Edward from Kite and Lukash Gadowsky are very smart – and very self-ironic people. They spend – like most very succesfull people – most time makes jokes about themselves and their failures and problems. We have fun. After dinner (and 3-4 cigarettes) – we end up at the table and Yaron Valler from Hasso Platner Ventures shows up. I make the same jokes – and say that HPV is shit lucky to have Hasso – and I make a joke about Eran and Rouvan. AND THEN Mr Yaron Valler (who dont know me and did not sit a the tabler earlier) – suddenly freaks out and starts a verbal fight (something I not really do – and Im very very bad at – since I never had siblings (whom seems to teach eatchother every chapter in that handbook)). I recall my rage from not getting a deal with Eran and Rouvan (and just to tease the dude – I say that I would hire Rouvan any day – and I reacall a earlier phonecall with Mr Yaron Valler (says something nasty about how I could have done the deal in 5 min) – and things get out of hand…
PROBLEM ONE and TWO gets FULL ON OXYGEN – makes me conclude – that either I punch the dude in his face – or (as I choose) I tell him to leave the table.
I totally forgot about it. We had a mutual bad day – and fuck it. But my very very good personal friend Eran Davidson – yesterday told me his version of the story. TO MY BIG SURPRISE – He was sad and felt that I had been saying bad things about him and the fund.
Dear Eran (HPV & Mr Valler)
Im am 100% sorry if this has ever been the case – or if you feel that I have been trying to harm you. My only intention was grill Mr Valler – test his ability to be self-ironic and not take himself too serious. BUT I FAILED – I MIXED IT WITH MY SELF AGGRESSION - I MADE A MISTAKE – STEPPED OVER THE LINE – and Im very very sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused.
PS: I will still hire Rouvan for my next fund :) – and Eran will be invited on the Board of my Holding one day (If Lisa won’t do it :).
PPS. this will not be my last “Im sorry” post.