Do you think your time working in corporate finance, in VC, and at Carlyle gave you credibility when you decided to pitch your own company here in Silicon Valley?
It definitely did NOT give me credibility in terms of running a business. If you think about it, I had never even worked at a company before – only firms. What it did give me was great contacts and an understanding of how the valley worked. Which was definitely helpful in terms of raising money – but not in terms of founding and growing a business. To get that experience, you just have to start a business.
Even when you go off and work, you might consider trying to do something on the side. Get a sense of what it’s like to sell something. And fail. Most of the very successful entrepreneurs out there (yes – there are a few first time winners that everyone talks about – though they are small in number) have had multiple businesses and some of the businesses have failed.