Network: Ben Casnocha > Mike Patterson > Greg Prow
Google: “Greg Prow”
Greg Prow was up until recently a managing director and COO at Mobius Venture Capital and was one of the first people in the business world I met 3 or 4 years ago. He is now moving on to new endeavors, but I thought of him recently after an email I got from someone very successful who told me to abandon my involvement in business and focus exclusively on school.
Back in the day, I wrote up a 10 page business plan on an idea I had for a company based on my first dot-com that resolved citizen complaints about local governments. When my close mentor Mike Patterson – who at the time was just a neighbor down the street, I’m sure he didn’t expect to be this deep into it! – took a look he offered to introduce me to a friend of his (Greg) for add’l feedback. I had no idea what to expect – after all, I had never met any adult in any sort of business setting. I think I was 12.
When I arrived at the offices of what-was-then-called Softbank, I recall my palms being sweaty and very nervous. The bubble was just bursting and from what I had read about VC firms everyone was in the dumps. To my surprise, I walked in and was instantly printed a name tag and led to the back where there were tons of drinks and food. It seemed the bubble hadn’t burst yet for this firm.
I met Greg and I was surprised again – he actually read the business plan in detail. He had detailed feedback, he went to the whiteboard and drew up numbers. He said, “Ben, I want you to go out and find three beta testers for this product. Second, I want you to find quality tech support folks who can stabilize the product and answer the phone 9-5. I’ll help you find these people. Third, this is most important: as you embark on this journey, most people are going to tell you to give up, to just be normal, to quit being a dreamer. I want you to never listen to any of them and keep pounding away at your vision. Good things come from the desire to make them happen.”
Those were his parting words, applicable to any entrepreneur, and they echo in my mind every time someone tells me to quit. Thanks Greg, for inspiring me to start on this incredible journey.