Crises

The true measure of a man (or woman) is the ability to face up to a crisis. These are more than obstacles. They are key moments of truth. Stop and think for a moment: you lose your savings, your house, your spouse, your health. What you have left is your character, and this is what we see during a crisis.

Venture capitalists understand this: they often require the owners of nascent companies to mortgage their house, tap relatives for loans, and stake their reputations on the success of the venture. Does the individual have the overwhelming commitment to commit at this level?

At some point management will be swapped out. Can that individual remain committed without the trappings of management? At some point funding will be cut. Does the team have the commitment to head out to the street with hat in hand? At some point the science will be understood to just not have legs. Can the team abandon years or even a decade of effort?

The individual's personal life does matter. A trophy bride screams loudly about the character of the individual. Expensive tastes and research are often incompatible. It's just another crisis in waiting.

The blockbuster+ pursuit is a life's commitment, with all its ups and downs. Folks not ready to make that commitment should pursue R&D for copycat or new product features. Or, they can be extra deck hands on the whale hunt, content with just going along for the ride, but not fully participating in the hunt.

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