Friday, November 4, 2016

Improbable wins

DSC04853As one who grew up in Chicago, it would be impossible to overemphasize the significance of the Cubs winning the World Series this week.  Coming back from a three-game, must-win deficit after Game 4, I thought that the series was headed to another disappointment for the 100+ dry years for their true fans.  I have always been a White Sox person, truth be told, but this is the season that I could get behind my brother’s North Side team.
The win is one of a series of improbable victories lately, many fortunately, in my ballpark.
DSC04784 (1300x867)The photo to the left is one example.  It may not look like much, but there are several million pounds and years of work hidden beneath the bubble wraps.
‘back in the day, I said this would be easy.  By turns arrogant and overconfident, I was sure that I’d be in and out in three years, product approved and on market, a 30x exit at hand and a three-DSC_0002 (3) (1300x732)day work week of Board work and mentoring ahead.
‘time later, and product is ready.  One is entering clinic this week, patients being enrolled in validation work at a hospital near Chicago.  The other is headed to Ohio, France, and the UK for exhaustive safety testing that will last until Christmas.
‘'Entrepreneurship is passion,” goes the conventional wisdom.  What is my passion in entrepreneurship?

DSC02896I am proud of the products, grateful for the efforts of employees and the support of investors, who all made this possible.  I believe that they will help patients to have fewer complications during their hospitalization, and ensure that staff can deliver better, more cost-effective health care.

DSC02528But my passion, on reflection, is for the success of competing the process.  There has been so much to do, to overcome, to learn, and to motivate.  I get satisfaction from seeing this through successfully, for being honest with employees commitment and investors money, and for persevering when things looked their darkest.

DSC04841I don’t know what lessons to draw from the experience.  One of my companies, well-planned and deliberately started, never got rolling, and became a consultancy.  Another was always the underachiever, needing a push and encouragement every step along the way.  The third was the wild child, always in trouble with the banks and the law.  But that was the one that, most improbably, performed the best.

In the sports bars and hotel lobbies around Chicago, I followed the Cubs from loss to loss to win.  When I left, they needed three games.  One loss would be the end.
DSC_0063 (2) DSC_0074 (4)IMG_20161030_141827
DSC04811 (1300x866) (2)In a season of improbably wins, the Cubs took three in a row to clinch the Series.  And I pressed on through good times and lean, to introduce our products to hospital customers. 

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