Part III – Crossing the Finish Line but Just Beginning


“No You Gambled”

I can remember a meeting in Boston with the financial advisor of one of Earth’s Best’s largest early investors. The meeting took place after Ron and I had left the company. We first exchanged some pleasantries before the guy said to me, “You didn’t have enough working capital when you launched.” I agreed to the obvious, but explained that when it all began, we thought we saw a realistic way forward, although a very narrow one. He then said, “You should have never gone forward with the launch; you were reckless, even irresponsible to do so.” I simmered for a moment and said, “More equity would have been great, but we started as big as we could. Ron and I thought we had enough to get off the runway.” He smiled and said, “Then what?” I shot back, “We looked for midair refueling. If we had waited for everything to be just perfect, Earth’s Best would have never happened. We took a calculated risk.” He leaned forward and said, “No, you gambled.”

We all gambled. We all were aware of the blue sky. Ron and I had a plan to succeed with this first equity round. But we were blinded by ignorance and innocence and had to slip the start-up through the eye of a needle on our first try. Naïvely or arrogantly, we thought we’d find a way to squeeze through. No one told us we were nuts, although, as you will see, a compelling case could be made that we were.

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