We have MBAs, but we didn’t learn business from a textbook. We learned it from sleeping under the shipping table, having invoices go unpaid and struggling to make payroll. We learned it from making great hires and terrible ones. We struck transformative deals for our companies and signed others that we would never do again. There’s no substitute for experience, and no faster way to gain it than by building something from nothing.
Our respect for our fellow entrepreneurs flows from this experience. We know just how much pain, hard work and risk went into building a company that customers love and keep coming back to.
Having invested in companies, sold companies and raised funding, we have seen the costs of the short-term mindset of private equity and venture capital up close. We wanted to do something fundamentally different. We took our inspiration from some of our personal heroes: Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger. They have been very open and generous about their recipe for success, but surprisingly few people have tried to replicate it because of the patience and discipline it requires. In a short term world, Buffett & Munger have shown that a long term perspective can be the ultimate competitive advantage.
Following the inspiration of Berkshire Hathaway, we decided to build the company that we would want to buy our own company. One that would hold it forever instead of selling it to the highest bidder. One that would take care of our employees and create opportunities for them to grow wealth if the business grows. One that would mentor our next generation of leaders. One that would give our business the time it needs to grow (or simply stay the right size) at whatever pace is right for it. That company is Enduring Ventures.