Something Ventured

This highly entertaining documentary is one of my favorites so far, at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. "Venture Capital" is a fairly recent term and they interview one of the fellows who helped coin it.

As you may know, Apple, Intel, Genentech, Atari, Google, Cisco, and countless other mind-boggling success stories may never have existed without backing and substantial investment from adventurous souls who believed in dreamers and their dreams...and took a chance.

Many of the risk takers (most of them millionaires now) are interviewed and their comments are wry, funny and insightful: for example, Steve Jobs couldn't find any backers until he met one who was willing to overlook the bad grooming, the bad body odor and the bad manners. Over time, Jobs modified his personal habits but he was fired anyway. We all know THAT story. Another guy tells about turning away a gold mine with gene splicing. He just couldn't see the applications. He's kicking himself now.

Venture capitalists, along with their financial investments and business acumen led to spectacular growth in microprocessors, personal computers and the web, plus they facilitated the birth of biotechnology, which has saved countless lives. Many of these businessmen were hopeful from the beginning, but were still startled by the overwhelming successes they enjoyed.

One of the funniest segments is about the ones that got away. Every one of those fellows owns up to making a poor judgment call at one time or another. Each is highly critical of his own action and ruefully recalls the moment.

YOU will enjoy every minute!