Lesson #5 - NOTHING WORKS THE FIRST TIME.
An impatient society and media expect instant results. Wall Streets fetish with quarterly earnings makes it worse. Georges Doriot, the founder of venture capitalism, observed that too many bankers and counselors had forgotten the history of our industrial giants. The first fifteen years of companies and of human beings are very much alike hope, measles, failures, mumps, reorganizations, scarlet fever, executive troubles, whooping cough, etc., are part of ones daily life. His question for bankers and brokers who told him he should sell an ailing company was Would you sell a child running a temperature of 104? USAToday, Amazon.com and CNN ran fevers for years but came good because the basic ideas were sound. Innovation is often cut off too soon because backers fail to appreciate that it takes time to work out the wrinkles. See the Wright brothers.
From the book THEY MADE AMERICA by Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David Lefer. (c) 2004 Little, Brown & Co.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.