Risk Everything

9 thoughts on “Risk Everything”

  1. Kind of took my breath away.

    While act of leaving a +100k job to risk making millions does not have the same heroic undertone anymore, your leadership quality takeaways are potent.}

  2. Ursula, simply courageous. It is so inspiring to read your experience. Kudos to both you and Dave for your faith in the human spirit! I wish we could all have such conviction. I only wonder what became of the ten men on the boat. What a tale they must be telling about you two.
    Cheers!}

  3. I wonder how realistic it is to compare a start-up do-or-die-trying to these people on the boat where it is the literal truth. There is no practical way to create the sense of desperation, despair and loss of hope that drives such feats nor is it necessarily the right thing to do for a startup. All entrepreneurs have viable choices to make unlike these people. There is no such thing as “risking everything” for educated people in the land of opportunities (unless you become a test pilot for an experimental aircraft company or something similar).

    The relevance to entrepreneurship and risk taking that I noticed in your story actually has to do with the quick decision you had to make whether to approach the boat. We are all faced with making these kinds of decisions every day, especially as a founder or an executive. It could have turned out very badly for either boats based on that decision. This is where a good mix of intuition, courage, lack of fear of failure, wisdom and blind luck can result in good decisions (in retrospect). You don’t always have the information to make a fully-informed decision.

    Building a team of people that individually can make such decisions in their respective roles from top to bottom would be the “dream team” for a startup. And if I knew how to do it….}

  4. Great story, Ursula.

    One of the measures of risk, which we rarely examine closely, is relevant to your story, and this the full extent and meaning of the risk being taken by a person (people) in a given situation.

    A venture fund may be willing to take risks on unproved startups, but how much risk are they really taking, using OPM spread across multiple investments?

    An angel or entrepreneur may be risking their own funds or savings, but they aren’t risking their lives or even their future ability to earn a living should they fail.

    Your story tells of people willing to risk everything, including their lives, not even for financial reward, perhaps, but only to live in freedom or to have access to expanded opportunity.

    This view of risk helps explain why the hardest person to compete against is one who has nothing to lose. When you have nothing to lose but your life, then you’re risking the most valuable thing of all.

    Vera}

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