What is The Venture Capital Coroner’s Report? Why should you listen to it? And who is Mark W King? (and why does he use his middle initial?) Great questions that I answer in Episode Zero, The Prologue. After 17 years in the venture capital industry, I felt it was time for a public forum to discuss what we’ve learned about entrepreneurship, start-ups, venture capital and business in general from the huge number of companies that have not ended in success. In this prologue I explain my background in the VC industry and my plans for this podcast.
Since graduating from Wheaton College in 1988, I’ve been involved in entrepreneurial finance. The theme to my career is loaning money to entrepreneurs who on the surface didn’t look like they could pay it back.
I started worked in international micro lending and urban development lending. Then I took the plunge into Venture Debt. Since 1997 I’ve had the privilege of working with the same core group of people. We’ve moved firms a few times and experienced the peaks and valleys of the venture capital cycle together. It’s been a great ride.
Along the way I picked up my MBA at Kellogg/Northwestern, majoring in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Non-profit Management. I also sat for and received the Chartered Financial Analyst charter.
What’s up with the middle initial? Blame Sergey and Larry! If you Google Mark King you’ll find the bass player for Level 42, a British Snooker player and a golf course painter. If you Google Mark W King you’ll find a lawyer in Fresno, but you’ll also find me peppered through out the results (including our family’s ice bucket challenge video). My ego driven goal for The Venture Capital Coroner’s Report is to beat out the lawyer in Fresno, but I’ll need your help.
Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations for This Podcast
Over the years I’ve worked with some truly awesome venture capitalists and management teams. Sadly some of them don’t see the success they’d hoped for. But I’ve always learned from these investors and entrepreneurs, regardless of the outcome. I’ve always wished others could also learn their hard-won wisdom. I discovered lots of talk about learning from failure, but very little actually published. So that’s why I launched The Venture Capital Coroner’s Report.
In short…I want to celebrate the courage of entrepreneurs who didn’t achieve the original goal, but grew professionally and personally from the effort. You may not achieve your original goal either. I hope, however, that you will build on their experiences and your own to grow as a person and an entrepreneur. Teddy Roosevelt said it far better than I can:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.“
Please listen, comment and suggest guests. Let me know where I’m failing, so that I can get better. And remember…everybody fails, make sure you do it successfully.