"I don't know how to write a business plan. I can only tell you how we read them. We start at the back and if the numbers are big, we look at the front to see what kind of business it is.." - Tom Perkins, Co-Founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and early investor in Genentech and Tandem Computer
"Steve Jobs is a national treasure. He is so visionary, and so bright. I had to fire him though." - Arthur Rock, Founder of Arthur Rock & Co., and early investor in Intel and Apple Computer
"I'm not interested in entrepreneurs who will do it our way. I'm not interested in entrepreneurs who think there's a dress code. I'm interested in entrepreneurs who have a vision of doing something consequential...preferably that becomes BIG" - Don Valentine, Founder of Sequoia Capital and early investor in Apple, Cisco and Atari
"You gotta get money from strong people. Because weak people don't invest in tough times. But that's when most of the big winners are created." - Jimmy Treybig, Founder of Tandem Computer
"They (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak) offered a third of Apple Computer for $50,000 and I said, 'Gee, I don't think so.' I could have owned a third of Apple Computer for $50,000. BIG mistake." - Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari
"At Cisco, being a woman and a technical woman, I think I was just very, very frightening. And there wasn't a box for me. And I think I didn't make it particularly easy for them to ignore me." - Sandy Lerner, Co-Founder of Cisco Systems
"The quarter I arrived, we hired a shrink. He eliminated fighting in the open hallways. Physical fighting, I mean." - John Mortgridge, CEO of Cisco Systems
"Without venture capital, the future wouldn't happen nearly as quickly." - Nolan Bushnell, Founder of ATARI
Apple, Intel, Genentech, Atari and Cisco. These original venture capitalists were the first to fund and build companies that led to the birth of whole industries, from microprocessors and personal computers to biotechnology and the Internet.
Something Ventured is scheduled to begin airing nationally on public television in January 2013 (check local listings) and in the Bay Area on KQED 9.
The film shows how a few fearless individuals built an industry that would go on to finance nearly all of the major technology advancements of the past 50 years. Our lives would be completely different without their contributions and we can learn a lot today from the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation they helped to create.
Something Ventured tells the story of a handful of risk-takers who alongside visionary entrepreneurs created revolutionary companies. It tells the story of the creation of an industry that went on to become the single greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. Entertaining and poignant, it is told by the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen: Tom Perkins, Don Valentine, Arthur Rock, Dick Kramlich and others. The film also includes some of our finest entrepreneurs sharing how they worked with these venture capitalists to start and grow world-class companies like Intel, Apple, Cisco, Atari, Genentech, Tandem and others.
Beginning in the late 1950¡äs, this small group of high rollers fostered a one-of-a-kind business culture that encouraged extraordinary risk and made possible unprecedented rewards. They laid the groundwork for America¡¯s start-up economy, providing not just the capital but the guidance to allow seedling companies to reach their full potential. This small group of individuals would go on to finance nearly every major technology advancement over the past 50 years. They laid the groundwork for our startup economy. Our lives would be dramatically different without the contributions that these venture capitalists made to the creation of PCs, the Internet and biotechnology.
The recent scandals in big business are unpardonable. But for every Bernie Madoff, Enron or Lehman Brothers, there are hundreds of companies getting it right and having a blast doing it. Something Ventured offers a peek into a lighter, but equally dramatic, side of business¡ªat a time when encouraging innovation is key to preserving our competitive edge. The lives and contributions of these characters are a source of inspiration¡ªnot just for entrepreneurs and investors, but for anyone who has a dream and the passion to pursue it no matter the odds.
Executive Producers: Paul Holland & Molly Davis
Directors: Dayna Goldfine & Dan Geller
Writers: Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, Jen Bradwell, Gary Weimberg and Celeste Schaefer Snyder
Producers: Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller and Celeste Schaefer Snyder
Director of Photography: Dan Geller
Editors: Jen Bradwell and Gary Weimberg
Composer: Laura Karpman