Mike Moritz is Chasing Daylight — The Adjustments He’s Making As a Result

Mike Moritz, one of the most successful VCs in Silicon Valley history, announced he’s been diagnosed with an incurable illness and has been told his quality of life will likely decline significantly in the next 5-10 years. Very sad. Moritz says he will continue to do investing but also make some changes in his life:

I will use twelve to fourteen weeks – sprinkled throughout the course of each year – for various pursuits, diversions and trivial indulgences.

Reading this sentence gave me pause and caused me to reflect.

Among other things, I was reminded of the classic 2005 Alex Tabarrok post about travel. To paraphrase: If someone told you you were going to live for 10 additional years (say, living until 110 instead of 100) and ask what you would do with that extra time, you would probably say (among other things), “I’d travel more.” If someone told you were you going to die in the next 5 years and ask what you would do with your time remaining on planet earth, you would probably say (among other things), “I’d travel more.” Those were Alex’s answers, and mine too. As Alex says, “Given that I would travel more if I was to live either less or more, the probability that I was at just that level of mortality that I should not be traveling now must be vanishingly small.” And so he set off for Peru.

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The phrase “chasing daylight” from the title of the post comes from the touching book by the same name. I finished the book in tears. My book review is here.

4 Responses to Mike Moritz is Chasing Daylight — The Adjustments He’s Making As a Result

  1. I first thought of you and Chris Yeh when I read this sad news. You’re my go-to guys for mortality and business, I guess.

  2. Charlie says:

    I feel that the thing that keeps me from traveling, and from pursuing all the other things I want to pursue, is a lack of money to pay the bills more than anything else. So it’s not at all surprising that one of the most successful VCs in Silicon Valley history, when given a rude awakening about his limited time, will spend it doing precisely what he wants. It’s what most everyone would do, if they could.

  3. Chris Yeh says:

    I thought about writing about the Moritz news when I saw it this morning. Glad to see you picked up the torch.

    It’s incredibly sad news, but my own experiences have shown that there is a silver lining to being forced to confront mortality. If you know your time is limited, you’ll prioritize what’s really important, and it sounds like Mike is doing just that.

    It would also be interesting to contrast that with Steve Jobs determination to keep running Apple as long as possible. He too knew his time was limited, and made a different choice.

  4. Chris Yeh says:

    Oh yeah, we should point out that the notes from our Junto on dying are here:
    http://svjunto.wikispaces.com/dyingwell

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