Our San Francisco event turns out to be a big winner. The room is full – people at the right level from the right companies have shown up, which I can never take for granted – and our speaker, Heidi Roizen, founder of one of the earliest word-processing companies (they made a product called T/Maker), high-profile venture capitalist and, by rumor, former love interest of Bill Gates, is a fantastic speaker.
She not only offered genuine insights about what makes some ventures work when others stall, well beyond the obvious, but she clearly values the crowd in the room, and ends by asking them to review the 270+ companies her firm has backed, and to be in touch with her if any look like good partners or acquisitions. The folks in the room feel great to have such a big name asking after their input, and one or two might even find a meaningful deal develop out of the day.
On the way out, one of the participants utters the magic words: “Sign us up.” So we have a new member of the institute, and I’d guess two or three more from that crowd as well.
It’s a short flight home to LA, and then some family time over the weekend. My two young-adult daughters are with us – our oldest is in transition to an advanced-practice nursing program in the fall and staying with us till June, and our middle daughter is visiting from Seattle, where she’s finishing her first year as a high-school math teacher. Our son – now a de facto only child – is finishing his 10th-grade year, and beginning to look at colleges.
I’ll try to forget about work for a day or two, and enjoy the chance to be at home. It’s been a long week, and next week looks like a busy one as well – though with a different rhythm. We’ve got an event in Washington DC on Monday, and then three lightly-scheduled days of meetings in New York with companies interested in joining the institute, but needing a little more conversation before making a final decision. So I’ll be visiting my native city, maybe seeing a noon-time movie during the week once or twice, and doing just enough business to keep me busy while enjoying the slower pace.
Should be a great week.