Built for Life

By February 3, 2012blog

I believe we can bring a LOT more value to the world by building GREAT companies (for life) vs. being an investor or entrepreneur who aims to flip.

A couple things overlapped in the past month that made me think more about this.
1. A VC fund announced it raised $600 million and would have raised more but wanted to get its investment cycle down from 4 years to 3 years.
2. While washing my 13 year old golden retriever, a thought crossed my mind… the trend is to own companies for a third the time people would own a pet.
3. 60 Minutes did a segment on a 600 year-old family-owned wine business in Italy (view). Now run by the 26th generation!!
4. Mark Cuban’s Rule’s for Startups: 1. Don’t start a company unless its an obsession and something you love, 2. If you have an exit strategy, its not an obsession.
5. Jim Collins most recent book, Great by Choice, that profiles the incredible 10x success of longer-term-thinking, built-for-life companies like Southwest Airlines.
6. A book about Hobby Lobby, More than a Hobby (that my amazing wife, who is truly addicted to the place, bought me). It tells a story of organic, built-for-life growth, that’s a similar story to how In-N-Out Burger, Trader Joes, Zingerman’s, & Southwest airlines grew… one profitable store/business/route at a time.
7. This last one is the most disturbing, but makes a point. If we wouldn’t sell our children, then why would we sell our companies, that we put just as much if not more of our care and energy into.

I’m gathering an exclusive group of successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about building their companies for life. If that is you, drop me a line.

Leave a Reply