I was talking about the Crypto token Solana (SOL) with a friend a few weeks back. Solana’s value has literally exploded, pumping a full 24% in one day. I made a remark about the fact that I knew the Solana team back in 2017 and had the chance to buy some tokens. They actually went through the Accelerator program I ran and the 500 Mobile fund (now Race Capital) we worked with made an investment here. My friend did the math and said that if I had made a $100k investment at that time, this would have turned into $75M usd today. Yikes. I was just too ignorant, lazy or busy at that time to jump on the opportunity.
Being in Silicon Valley, you get exposed to many opportunities. Maybe even too many opportunities.
I had the chance to join an adtech startup Klipmart to run the Asia region when I was Yahoo! But I rejected it. They were acquired by Doubleclick. I was then recruited by the same friend to Doubleclick. Nope. I had chances to join Google & Facebook very early many times. Missed all these opportunities. Every single one would have translated into a financial net worth 10 times if not 100 times more than what I have now. I by no means have anything to complain about but I would be in a very different realm of impact with these additional resources.
You don’t realize this until after. Even if you mentally understand at some level, it’s whether you had the courage or true understanding to take action. But philosophically I have to come to appreciate the Chinese saying “The master appears when the student is ready.” This is exactly the same as investing in anything. The opportunity shows up when the investor is ready.
I don’t regret missing those opportunities (most of the time if I am honest :). Regret is not helpful. But you definitely are more thoughtful and prepared for future opportunities. As Louis Pasteur famously said: “Chance favors the Prepared Mind.” I missed at least 5 massive life changing wealth opportunities. Yet I still believe in a world of abundance. Because of this, I am very confident there will be many more opportunities appearing, just as they will appear for most people out there in the future.
This is also why I don’t begrudge any investor or founder who has done well financially (obviously without breaking the law, through shady acts or being total A — holes while doing it).
I have many dozens of founders whom I have invested in who have done far better financially than I have. And they ABSOLUTELY deserved it. They took the high risk, they put in the work, they took the hit to their lifestyle and health for years. Why shouldn’t they get the benefit? It was fully earned. This is the game.
So the lesson is to keep on swinging. As long as you continue to play the game, be long term greedy, and do right by people, you will come out ahead. And hopefully enjoy the ride along the way like I have. Your time will come!