Monday, July 11, 2005

Thank You Henry Phipps!

In 1890-something Henry started up a company with his friend Andy. In 1902 Hank and Andy sold their startup, Carnegie Steel, to JP Morgan, and Hank pocketed $50 million, which was, back then, the equivalent of approximately three gazillion Euros today. Henry decided to save it for his kids...and grand-kids, and great grand-kids, and great-great-great grand-kids. So he creates Bessemer Securities Corp. as a vehicle for boldly investing his family's billion nickels back into other startups like WR Grace and Ingersoll Rand, thereby kicking off Amercia's favorite pastime, Venture Capital.

Fast forward a century, and somehow the family fortune is managed in part by Bessemer Venture Partners--for the most part, a nerdy crew of Jews and Indians who never stepped foot in a good old fashioned steel mill. (As if, my imaginary reader, you have?) Nonetheless, here we are, entrusted with a legacy, trying our damnedest to sustain our predecessors' long track record of innovation, intellectual leadership, and dumb luck.

This is the blog of one fortunate shlub who is paid to ruminate on the future and charged with a budget to back up his dreams.

Thank you Henry Phipps!


  1. David, it's great to see you putting your thoughts out there. Excellent writing -- and funny, too. Greetings..

  2. David,
    All the best with the new weblog.
    (I got here through Adam's log.)
    interesting stuff!

  3. Hi David,
    Nice to see you blogging. Why not do a podcast?

    John Furrier
    Palo Alto

  4. David,

    Welcome to the Blogosphere.

    Loved the Anti-Portfolio page on the BVP site since I first came across it and so here's a request: Would love to hear the thoughts behind those decisions.

    Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and in all our lives, some choices seem obvious mistakes while looking back. The objective behind the request is to understand from your perspective as to why those companies didn't make good sense while looking to the future (at that time) and what do you think resulted in those companies being successful.


  5. David,

    My father was the junior partner of a large steel company back in Taiwan that processed steel coils and other raw steel products trucked in from China Steel. As a child I used to play in the factory office's parking lot while my father was there on business, often times sneaking into the plant itself to sneak a peak at what went on inside. Not quite a steel mill that smelts iron ore, but probably close enough ;)

    John Yau

  6. "...and professing knowledge they became fools." You are right. You do not have time for this.
    You do not have understanding which is the beginning of wisdom. You can manipulate what you are given to work with. You do not have understanding or the wisdom that will lead you to the truth.

  7. Love the articles, one day you probably will write about me in one of your clippings :)