An Inside Look at Venture Capital from the VC Perspective

An Inside Look at Venture Capital from the VC Perspective

Interview with Robert Kibble from Mission Ventures

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

In this interview with Robert Kibble, a Managing Partner at Mission Ventures, a venture capital firm, we discuss many things that are happening in the venture investment world. I get Robert’s perspective on a number of topics of interest to entrepreneurs. Robert co-founded Mission Ventures and has over 30 years of venture capital investing experience. Previously, he served for 13 years as a Founding General Partner of Paragon Venture Partners. Prior to that, Robert was Vice President at CitiCorp Venture Capital and he also served as Vice President of Citicorp’s Merchant Banking Group. Robert’s early career also includes investment banking on Wall Street. Robert has served as a Director of dozens of startup companies, ranging from early stage to mid size growth companies. Robert was also a Director of National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). He has an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and a Bachelors degree, with honors, in Natural Sciences from Oxford University.

venture capital

In this interview, Robert reveals his personal experience in venture investing over 30 years, and how he sees the venture industry evolving. Robert states that you must be analytical to be a VC, but you don’t have to have any specific background. He feels the key to successful venture investing is finding opportunities and companies that are addressing a market that is about to explode, but there is no mainstream knowledge of the importance or growth prospects for that market. Robert also feels that leadership is essential for being a good VC, and that this is critical for working with management teams, CEOs of his companies, and on the boards of directors.

We discuss the historical perspective on the venture industry where $100B was raised by VC firms for investing in the year 2000, where more recent years are in the $20B to $30B per year category.

We discuss the market dynamic for “exits”, where the IPO market is no longer a viable option for most companies due to the “decimalization” of trading, or the moving from fractions to decimals for trading spreads, that reduced broker commissions, and government regulation like Sarbanes-Oxley. Viable IPO candidates now need to have significant revenue or explosive growth to garner investment banker and public investor interest.

There are still startups that are huge winners, but there are fewer of them, and most are in California, with the bulk being in the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley. A smaller percentage of venture-backed companies are successful, which means that overall venture returns are down from historical levels.

Robert explains that venture capitalists look at Return on Investment (ROI) as opposed to Discounted Cash Flow (DCF).  He was also involved in lobbying efforts to the US federal government as a director of the NVCA, and he shares some stories of that experience.

If you’d like to get a complementary assessment of your business plan or investor presentation, or you’d like to register for one of our virtual coaching workshops, please contact us at , or to QuestFusion Virtual Coaching to learn more about virtual coaching and to register for a workshop. At QuestFusion, we love working with entrepreneurs, and we will work hard to help your company become the next great startup success story.

Patrick:     Hi, this is Patrick Henry from QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters. I’m here today with my dear friend Robert Kibble, who is a managing partner at Mission Ventures.

                  For those of you who are entrepreneurs and run startups, when you’re dear friends with a VC who was an investor in your company, that means you made them money. Typically, they’re not your friends afterward if you don’t.

Robert co-founded Mission Ventures and has over 30 years of venture capital experience. He’s a real expert in the space. Previously to Mission, he served for 13 years as the founding general partner of Paragon Venture Partners.

Prior to that, Robert was a vice president at CitiCorp Venture Capital and also served as a vice president of Citicorp’s Merchant Banking Group.

Robert’s early career also included investment banking on Wall Street. Robert serves as a director of about a dozen different companies. He was also a director of the National Venture Capital Association.

He has an MBA from Darden School at the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Natural Science from Oxford. Robert is a British guy. You’ll notice by his accent.

I want to welcome Robert. Thanks for doing this today. Why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself personally and how you got into venture capital?

Robert:      I was born in England, in London. I went to Oxford University. After that I worked for Shell, the big oil company, on the chemical side.

                  I decided, in order to get a real business education, I should go to the United States. I went and applied to the University of Virginia, and I went there. That was a great experience. I was very fortunate.

Then I worked on Wall Street, as you said, for a couple of years only. I had a very difficult time on Wall Street.

Patrick:     Was this in research or investment banking?

Robert:      I was in investment banking. I was in corporate finance, an associate doing all the grunt work. You know what that is, working for partners who had a much easier time. The lights were on late at night.

                  After that, during the down, a really very depressing time, our firm was going to be bought by another firm that didn’t have a particularly good reputation.

I decided to look around. I wasn’t fired. In fact, they wanted to keep me. They offered to send me to Los Angeles, ironically, and here I am in San Diego.

I joined Citicorp, worked in Malaysia in a startup merchant bank, and then after that in Brazil in a startup merchant bank affiliated with Citicorp but a separate business.

The name of the company was different. Majority owned by Brazilians. Majority owned by Malaysians. I then came to the United States and joined CitiCorp Venture Capital and I’ve been here in California ever since 1980.

Patrick:     Great. What do you think are the best qualities of being a good venture capitalist?

Robert:      For one thing, I don’t think you have to come from any particular background to be a successful VC.

Witness Mike Moritz, who actually happens to be another Brit, a Welshman mind you, who was a journalist and, I think, a history major. You don’t normally associate that with high tech venture capitalist.

Most venture capitalists, I would say, tend to have an engineering degree and someone who has had a background in the kind of company that you might invest in, but you don’t need to have that as a requirement.

The qualities are more that you have to be analytical. You have to do really rigorous work in terms of trying to understand what’s going to make a company successful.

What are going to be the impediments to success, every aspect of it? You’re looking at the technology, the operational side, the financial equation, as well as ultimately, cost management.

I think above all, the biggest single factor for early stage venture at any rate is trying to find an opportunity where the market is just about to explode.

The growth is going to be very rapid but is in the market that most likely is not written about in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or some of these research magazines. It’s something that people don’t realize is coming until it’s there. That’s more art than science.

Then I think you have to be able to show leadership qualities. You have to be able to persuade entrepreneurs to have an influence, which if you’re an early stage venture capitalist, you’re going to go on the board of the company.

You need work with management on corporate strategy and the issues facing the company, financial strategy, and you have to persuade your co-investors, if you’re going to be the lead investor, at any rate.

I think you want to have the capability of being a so-called lead investor, where the syndicate really looks to you as the principle major shareholder of the company.

Patrick:     Are Mission and the other venture capital companies you’ve been involved in with typically the leads? Do you typically take board seats?

Robert:      We often go as a co-lead with another firm. You develop a relationship with that firm and, of course, with management and you work together.

                  Occasionally, we’re more a passive investor, where we’re not the lead and we may not be on the board, although that’s been very rare in our case. Usually we are represented on the board of the company.

Patrick:     How do you see the landscape and the market of venture capital evolving? It seems like just a burst of different firms that emerged in the pre-telecom bubble of 1999 to 2000, but they’re 10-year funds, so it takes a while to weed things out.

                  It seems like we now have these mega funds, these billion dollar funds, and not so many Missions anymore that maybe have $100 million to $200 million funds. What do you see going on in the overall industry?

Robert:      It’s easier to look back and talk historically about what perhaps has happened and try to analyze it. What’s going to happen in the future, I don’t know. I think we are at a very interesting transition point in the venture capital industry, in terms of its evolution.

Yes, in my view, you’re absolutely right. During the internet era, if we don’t want to look further back than that but let’s start from there, a lot of money was created, sometimes companies that weren’t, frankly, particularly worthwhile.

A lot of companies even went public that should never have gone public. A great deal of money was raised. I think over $100 billion in 2000 in the venture capital industry.

Patrick:     In that single year?

Robert:      In that single year.

Patrick:     Wow. That’s crazy.

Robert:      Now it’s more like $20 billion to $30 billion. The big change in the market, and it’s changed for entrepreneurs as well as VCs, is the fact the IPO market has really, unfortunately, diminished significantly for much smaller companies.

                  If you’re a very large company, you have $100 million in revenue and you’re profitable, you’re growing well. It’s not a problem. You still certainly are an IPO candidate.

The other exception to that is, obviously, if you’re a Twitter-type company and you have absolutely spectacular isentropic growth and people believe that the business model will ultimately lead to revenue generation in some form or other.

There is Snapchat or what have you. YouTube didn’t have any revenue for many years. Eventually, of course, it’s evolved to an advertising model that is providing very good revenue now to Google.

However, if you didn’t have that, it’s very difficult to go public. The biggest single contributor, in my opinion, to that was the decimalization of trading, which is a good thing.

It’s more efficient trading in the stock market shares. The broker gets just a few cents a share every time shares are traded and that makes it more efficient, less of a cost to the entity selling the shares.

However, the problem is today that means if you’re only raising $30 million in an IPO, you can’t really expect the investment banking firm and all these syndicates to make any money out of it.

Patrick:     You think it’s more based on the spreads associated with the trading as opposed to things like Sarbanes-Oxley, which creates more overhead and more of a cost for a company to be public and all the things associated with it?

Robert:      Certainly Sarbanes-Oxley was a big issue when it first came out. The costs were even higher than they are today. They’re still pretty high.

                  Definitely regulation and Sarbanes-Oxley are impediments, particular in this wonderful country of America where everyone is terribly suspicious of government and you never want to give credit to government of any kind.

In this country, I think people really like to blame Sarbanes-Oxley. Actually, ironically, it was government regulation in a sense, by stripping away the commissions paid for broker’s firm, that made the market more efficient, that actually created this problem, at least for small early-stage companies.

Patrick:     Most of the exits are really mergers and acquisitions as opposed to IPOs?

Robert:      Yes. It used to be you’d have this wonderful two-track system. A company would say, “We’re going to do an IPO. We’re working an RS1 and we’re also talking to a number of strategics.”

                  The strategics eventually figure this out. “You’re ready. You’re ready to take an IPO. You’re not taking an IPO,” because they could get better value if you needed to sell.

It’s been an issue and a problem. Lack of liquidity, I think, is the biggest single issue facing the early-stage venture industry.

To your point, with the mega funds and large funds, the place to be in the last 15 years would have been to have a lot of money. You can’t do it with a little money. You would have to have had in the mid-2000s period $100 million fund at the minimum.

If you had that and you did later-stage stuff, you could basically cherry pick the whole venture industry and look at all the portfolio companies of all the earlier-stage venture firms. The ones that seemed to be doing very well, you could pick those.

Or, when Mark Zuckerberg turns up in your office and says, “I want to move from Boston to San Diego and look at the traction I have in my company,” he doesn’t have any venture capital. He probably had very little, even angel money. But you might go for it. You pay a big price, what seems to be a big price. In retrospect was a very small price relative to their current market.

There were some real huge winners. The problem for many VCs is that most of them are in Northern California.

Patrick:     Has that always been the case? I’ve seen some statistics around this. Let’s say you invest in a number of companies. A third of them go under and a third, maybe, make a little bit of money. It’s really that top third that you count on to drive your returns.

                  Both from a seed stage standpoint as well as a late stage standpoint, what kind of return are you looking for? We always hear you need a 10X return for you to get any interest from a venture capitalist or maybe a late stage. Maybe they’re okay with a 3X to 5X return.

How do you think about that? What do you think the overall industry thinks about that?

Robert:      Earlier you talked about 2X, 3X, 10X returns. We don’t do discounted cash flows on early-stage companies. It’s too complex for us. We don’t understand it. No. We do understand it, but it doesn’t make any sense.

                  That formula- a third, a third, a third- I think was a pretty good formula in the old days. I think today we don’t know for sure, until we look back in time with a 10-year ability to look back 10 years.

I suspect that the percentage of losers is that much higher. I think the percentage of winners, and it depends on what you define as a winner, of course is fewer, and a few are really big hits.

Out of that one-third of winners, it used to be that one or two companies would really make all the difference in that fund. I think nowadays, they’re tougher to come across.

Patrick:     You really have to be in these mega funds to see the deals that have the potential to make the fund, or is it more that there are fewer companies out there that will have those kinds of spectacular returns?

Robert:      I think it’s a percentage thing. I think much fewer will have a big return. I think, again, it’s related to access to the capital market. It’s my opinion.

                  There’s one segment of the market, which is in the internet segment, mobile communication, internet, consumer-facing applications, where you can get this.

No one knows for sure. If a guy or a gal came along with an idea to start a company and it’s just a very simple business plan and said, “I’m going to get 100 million users over five years,” you’d scratch your head and say, “Show me.”

You’d want to see some real traction. It’s very difficult to tell ahead of time, frankly, what is really going to take off with the consumer.

If you look at Snapchat, maybe it sounded like a good idea. However, it depends on how well it’s going to be implemented. Is it easy to use? It obviously has had tremendous traction, but could you have predicted that beforehand? I think it’s very difficult to do so.

I think what has happened is that there are a few, very few, of these companies that take off like crazy. The angel investing community, in particular, has become enamored by thinking that maybe we’ll be lucky. It will be like winning the lottery.

Many of these incubators have started up, but starting many companies. In some cases, up in Northern California as I understand, and to some extent, down here they’re emulating them here in Southern California, a whole bunch of little companies are being started. I think the hit rate is going to be very low.

Patrick:     This would be 500 Startups and Y Combinator?

Robert:      Yes. How many are going to be winners? Just literally a handful. However, the returns have been so spectacular that they really have covered the costs, probably, of the other 492.

Patrick:     There was a third, a third, a third, but there was also this Harvard Business Review study that 75% of venture-backed startups fail.

                  That plays more to what you’re saying. There are going to be fewer winners going forward, so you have to get the real big winners in order to get a return on the fund.

Are there good statistics around the recent returns, the IRRs, on the recent funds or is that data still not available yet?

Robert:      No, I think it is available. Cambridge Associates puts out those numbers and tracks it. They’re one of these advisors to the pension funds, insurance, endowment funds, and the like.

                  Out of all the funds that they cover on a no-names basis, they keep statistics. They aggregate them and so forth. I haven’t looked at them recently, but I believe the returns are not too good.

Patrick:     Okay. You were a director of the National Venture Capital Association. What was that like?

Robert:      It was actually a good experience. It was a four-year term. We have term limits.

Patrick:     I like that.

Robert:      There were quite a few off us. It’s not a small group. I can’t remember now. There were 14 board members.

Patrick:     Kind of like the Federal Reserve bank?

Robert:      Something like that. Of course, there’s an organizing committee and there’s the chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, who’s elected by the rest of us.

                  I worked a little bit on capital formation. Under a gentleman called Dixon Doll, we put together a whole paper that we submitted to the FCC and various agencies to try to encourage them to cull or change Sarbanes-Oxley a little bit.

It’s really a lobbying group. The great thing about the National Venture Capital Association is that whether you’re a democrat or a republican, you’re usually for this. This is a good thing. This creates jobs. We kept on promoting job formation, which is true, from small companies.

Patrick:     Yes, most of the jobs are created by smaller companies. That’s statistically true.

Robert:      Obviously, some of the big success stories have been amazing and have really kept this country ahead of the game on a worldwide basis, in terms of technology and change. It’s very exciting. Being on the board of that was good fun.

In Washington, we met some very important people. I shook hands with Mr. Bernanke, the Reserve chairman. We made a presentation to him. He probably was bored stiff. Bored stiff, I should say, with dealing with the financial crisis after 2008. This was light relief to go and listen to a bunch of people talking about good news about venture capital.

Patrick:     Along those lines, this is more recent, the JOBS Act and especially, I guess they call it, Part 2 and Part 3. One is about traditional startups that we’ve been involved with, the other one about crowdfunding. What are your thoughts around the JOBS Act generally? Is this a good thing?

Robert:      I think it’s definitely a good thing and a trend in the right direction. I do think, again, somewhat reluctantly to say it to an American of all people, that the government could do any good, but they’re trying to. Maybe some good will come out of it.

                  I think a lot of frustration, of course, will be felt along the way. There is the danger of fraud. There are some shysters who are going to take advantage of cutting corners. There won’t be full disclosure on the investment opportunities.

I think crowdfunding is a good thing and I think this Reg A+ is a good thing, by which you can raise a lot of money without having a public offering and you can have a public market for it.

The FCC has experimented, I believe, and has a pilot project going with respect to widening the spreads on IPOs for smaller companies.

Patrick:     To attract more investor interest?

Robert:      Yes. Investment bankers have to make money. They are taking more risk, so why not, in a sense?

Patrick:     Although my friends who are investment bankers, I rarely feel sorry for them with how much money they make.

Robert:      That’s certainly true.

Patrick:     What are the favorite thing and least favorite thing you like about working with entrepreneurs?

Robert:      My most favorite thing is that you have an impassioned entrepreneur. He wants to change the world. That’s the best type of entrepreneur.

                  The second type of entrepreneur who could also be very good at making a lot of money is a mercantile individual, who just wants to make money. That’s okay.

Patrick:     They’re passionate in both cases.

Robert:      Yes, there is passion in both cases. My preference would be for the first type, to change the world and also has a good business plan behind it is probably going to generate bigger returns. I can’t prove it, but I feel it viscerally.

I think dealing with these highly motivated, impassioned people who have a great idea and are leaders and can put together a group of people and stimulate them and inspire them, that’s fascinating to work with people like that. That’s the most fun.

I think taking a company public is pretty exciting. Wouldn’t you agree?

Patrick:     Yes. It was a challenging time during the initial meltdown of the U.S. economy. It was exciting. It was exciting for employees. It was exciting for investors.

                  It was followed by the next year-and-a-half of extreme difficulty in the overall economy. It worked out in the longer term.

How do you identify the best investment opportunities? What’s your scouting plan? Do good entrepreneurs just come to you as a venture capitalist? How do you do the matchmaking? How does that work?

Robert:      The first point I would make is, anytime you put a sign up saying you have money to invest, it’s like bees to a honeypot. You will get a lot of business plans.

                  In fact, your time could be completely consumed by trying to read these darn things and making quick decisions as to whether you cull them down.

That is the reaction of many VCs. They’re reactionary. They’re not necessarily proactive in saying, “I want to invest in this area. I’m going to go after it. I’m going to find the best entrepreneur or scientist or engineer in that area.”

Some people do that, perhaps some of the very early-stage, more seed-style investing. I really think it happens with biotechnology when they say, “There’s a really good opportunity to build this compound that will treat this cancer. This university has already done some work in that area. I’m going to find the best researchers.”

Some people do that, but in general I would say that’s not the way it happens. You get all these business plans coming in. You cull them. What would be the intelligent thing to do, and we’ve certainly tried to do it in our partnership, is to identify areas that appear to be, likely in the next few years, promising areas to invest in.

Patrick:     These are the most promising market segments.

Robert:      Yes, we want to be more receptive to those segments. Do some research and work in those segments to understand the lay of the land and what the issues are.

                  Then be receptive to business plans that come in in that area, and prioritize those and tend to put them at the top.

This business is very much one where certain areas get overdone. Let’s take a simple example. We did invest in a company that was trying to be YouTube. It was six months too late. There were about probably 10 or 12 companies trying to be YouTube. Only one won.

After that had happened, over a space of a year, no one was going to look at that again, self-generated consumer-content video. You wouldn’t want to search for it again.

Patrick:     That is a case study. Why do you think YouTube won, because they were the first mover or because they had a better platform?

Robert:      They were the first mover, probably a good team, probably better financed and they got financed earlier. They were six months earlier than our team. We actually had a very good team. It makes a big difference, six months.

Patrick:     Yes, in most technologies that’s huge. It’s a big advantage.

Robert:      You don’t know about it, because they’re private. You don’t know. YouTube popped up and we said, “Oh shit.”

Patrick:     That’s our idea.

Robert:      Exactly.

Patrick:     That gets into the Kleiner Perkins, or at least Kleiner Perkins gets credit for this. I’d rather invest in an A team with a B idea versus a B team with an A idea. Obviously, you want an A team and an A idea.

How do you discern that? You’re looking within markets. You’re saying, “These are the most promising opportunities,” but then you might get some bluebird that you hadn’t even thought about but it looks really interesting.

How do you look at that, especially when you’re doing early stage investing?

Robert:      I would have different criteria, which is more akin to Don Valentine who used to say this when he was at Sequoia.

                  He’s a very distinguished and successful VC. Coming back to the point about markets, find a product or service that you believe is really beginning to take off or is well positioned to take off, and you think it’s going to be a big market. Back that.

I think his view would be, if the management isn’t up to it, we’ll change it. We’ll find them.

Take Cisco. There were big problems with the founders of Cisco. They’re very wealthy people but they were out of that company on time.

Patrick:     Don was actually on our board at C-Cube. He used to like to say, “CEOs come and go,” as one of his phrases. The other one was, “What could put him in a different area code?”

                  From your investment philosophy, it’s more about identifying big market opportunity. The general market isn’t aware this is coming, but you can kind of see it.

You have some vision where you’re looking over the horizon, where you see this could be a really big idea. I have a good team around it. If I have a good idea, I can build the right team around the good idea.

Robert:      Yes. I think you have to. It’s very difficult, having just said what I said, to back a company, even if you have the good idea already or you identify the good idea, if you don’t see someone who you really believe is exceptionally involved in that company, usually the founder.

                  I agree with your comment about CEOs. CEOs can come and go in a sense. Back in Paragon, we were the backers of SynOptics Communications. It became a huge winner. It was twisted and untwisted pair telephone wiring that could take Ethernet.

It allowed you to link all your computers together. Eventually you had a clustered server. A lot of people at that time didn’t think it was going to be a particularly big market. I remember a very well-known VC, who should go unnamed, saying, “We’re not investing. We don’t think it’s going to grow.”

We had a different view. We’d done some work on it. We really believed this thing was going to take off, and it did. Fortunately there, the management team was good from the start.

The founder had managed to link up with a fellow called Andy Ludwick from Xerox, who turned out to be a great CEO. That team took it all the way through a public offering.

Patrick:     Definitely one of the big attractions for me to come to Entropic was Itzhak Gurantz, who was the founding CEO of the company.

                  It was my third company I had run. I was nervous about what I would call “founderitis,” the founder doesn’t really want you there, they stay chairman of the board. You end up with all sorts of the problems.

That was never the case with Itzhak. He’s just a wonderful, amazing guy to work with and just a brilliant entrepreneur. He knows where he’s good and knows where he wants to hand things off. That was a great partnership from my perspective in my most recent product company.

Robert:      You were asking about the fun aspects of this business. The people aspect is a lot of fun. There are some great executives you come across and some great founders, and then some not-so great people on each side.

                  On the plus side, it’s very exciting to work with a good team that clicks and turns out to be a huge success. My partner Leo, I believe, is a great CEO of our company, Sandpiper. Again, it was the same as your experience, Patrick. The founders were great people to work with. It turned out very well.

Other times, it doesn’t and you have to make changes. That’s the tough part of our business, making those changes.

Patrick:     Yes. That gets into balancing out the different constituencies. You have your general partners. You’re most loyal with that group. You have your limited partners.

You have the entrepreneurs themselves. You have other people on the board. You’re in an alliance with them because you have aligned interests around making the company successful. How do you balance out all those different constituencies as a venture capitalist?

Robert:      With the GPs, different venture firms have different structures, different ways of working together. Some are dominated by a particular individual who has a very strong personality or has a very long and successful track record and is regarded as first among equals or number one.

                  In the way in which we had worked, we preferred a more collaborative and equal structure, where we all had a voice. Even the junior partners had a voice.

The relationships with LPs are pretty straightforward and have been in our case. We’ve always tried to be very open about where things stand and be frank. We’ve had some good LPs, very professional. We’ve never had a contentious issue with our limited partner investors.

With management and co-investors, it can be tricky sometimes. There can be conflict there in terms of your interest and their interest. You try to work it out as best you can.

Patrick:     What’s been the most gratifying thing you’ve done in your career?

Robert:      Actually, it’s not a venture capital thing at all. I suppose starting from scratch in Malaysia a little merchant bank, in a new market where they weren’t used to merchant banks a lot. To bring it to profitability within three years was very satisfying. It was very challenging. I worked my ass off.

Patrick:     You were basically an entrepreneur in that case? You had a new company.

Robert:      I thought so, yes.

Patrick:     You had some financial backing, but you were out there in the jungle.

Robert:      Almost literally, in Malaysia, buying the paperclips to start with and getting the furniture arranged. Absolutely.

Patrick:     That’s awesome. What’s been the most difficult thing in your career?

Robert:      Negotiating in Portuguese, in Brazil, with a subsidiary of Corning Glass on doing a public offering for them. That was very difficult, because I knew he could speak English perfectly, but he wouldn’t.

Patrick:     You speak Portuguese?

Robert:      I had to speak Portuguese. Not very well, though.

                  In recent times, the successful sale of a company or an IPO exit is really gratifying, and the ability to send a check back to your LPs. That’s an exciting moment. That’s good. It’s happened a number of times. I don’t know which one is more exciting.

Patrick:     It’s exciting whenever that happens, whenever you have a big liquidity event and you’re able to have a victory, basically.

Robert:      Yes. That’s why we hugged you when your company went public.

Patrick:     You’re not a big hugger either. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

Robert:      Nowadays the world has changed a lot. I’m quietly proud of the fact that, at a time when interracial marriage was a very unusual thing, even relatively in California, I married an Afro-American girl. We have a beautiful daughter as a result. She’s 35 years of age. At the time this happened, it was quite unusual. I don’t think most people know that about me. They’re a little bit surprised.

Patrick:     Another couple things that I know about Robert, because we have hung out a little bit and talked, is that Robert is an expert skier.

Robert:      And a terrible golfer.

Patrick:     He does fox hunting. I didn’t even know people did fox hunting anymore.

Robert:      We hunt coyotes, a futile operation because we never catch them. They just laugh at the hounds.

Patrick:     Is there anything else that I missed that you want to talk to our entrepreneur audience about?

Robert:      Anyone who is in the entrepreneurial community, I praise you. I admire you. You’re our customer. You represent the engine of growth for this country, the future in terms of developing, I think, to a large degree the underpinnings of an important part of our economy. I bless you. God bless you, and keep at it.

Patrick:     Awesome. Thank you, Robert. I really appreciate you doing this with us today. This is Patrick Henry from QuestFusion with the Real Deal…What Matters.

We hope you enjoyed this interview and find it informative and entertaining. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.

Patrick Henry Entropic

This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters

 

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