Only someone without a functional understanding of basic math could look at our funding history and believe that the founders own less than 10% of the company.
Since circumstance can make a fool or a hero of any of us anyway, as you say, you never know.
it's like the Goog guys designing Google just so they could better find their own stuff, only to realize that other people might like to use it too
I mean, even in the story you are talking about mass producing the hardware, when you were supposedly just doing the show
We were talking about mass hardware production to support shows that we directly produced or contracted.
To be honest, I wish that I was able to go back and tweak our execution: if the Justin.tv show was just a stunt, I would have had a platform ready to go when we launched it instead of waiting six months to build it!!
It was a challenge.
This is a great example of how funding and connections are more important than a good idea. It gives you the luxury of changing direction if something doesn't work. And ultimately, the proximate cause of every business failure is running out of money. The lesson here is to gain the trust of wealthy patrons who are willing to give you a $50K check just to see how you fail.
I said this earlier today to a friend: the most important things are team and perseverance. While it is true that we had the luxury of great advisors and investors who believed in the team from the beginning, many of my friends (Airbnb comes to mind) have gone from a great idea that NO ONE believed in, stuck with it, and got the funding later.
Connections and funding cannot save a team that isn't strong, and often times just set up a larger failure.
I agree with you that funding and connections are not sufficient. But it is the limiting factor in the sense that there are more strong perserverant teams out there than there is money to service them all. And a team's strength is not a constant: most teams are only as strong as the list of mistakes they've made. Having funding gives you the luxury of making the mistakes and getting strong.
Perseverance is important but what it means depends on the context. A trust fund baby who keeps trying new businesses doesn't have much to lose, while a guy with a family to support who uses all his free time to work on his startup is making a huge sacrifice. And while I believe that perseverance is generally rewarded in many ways, the likelihood of it being rewarded with massive wealth is greatly overestimated.