Thursday Evening – Over the Pacific approaching the Date Line
In her gentle voice the Singapore Girl just announced to me that the cabin lights will be dimming shortly. My fine dinner was just finished and I’m ready for sleep. Singapore Air is the finest in the world. Go business class and spoil yourself sometime. I’ll flatten the seat, grab the pillow and drift off to dreamland. I have a lot to dream about, reflecting on the exciting days of this trip. It was filled with hard work, surprises and delights.
The photo shows hard working BlueRun Venture partners talking about a deal over breakfast. They all started their days with a workout, an early morning run on the beach. Their mobile phones and Blackberries were in constant use. They met with a half dozen startups daily. Lots of brains and energy at work.
The guy in the dark suit is doing his second meeting with BRV in 24 hours. He is a serial entrepreneur who visited my home in Silicon Valley years ago while doing his first enterprise. This was another delightful surprise. Now he’s surfing the Indian wave, Israeli 1-2-3 style, with his techies in Silicon Valley and his marketing in India. To his right is Vas from BRV who was born in Mumbai, not far from this Marriott hotel where business people gather all hours of the day and night. To Vas’s right is Yossi, from Israel. He is digging into the technical details and drilling down to core issues with his refreshing, brisk style. Otherwise he lives on his mobile phone. During the taxi rides yesterday he was doing work on the phone as a stand-in CEO for a very early stage company in Tel Aviv.
Yossi and I had a late night yesterday after a long day. We finished it devouring giant shrimp marinated in garlic
and red sauce, washed down with the local Kingfisher beer. To his right are
Pete and John from the States who are digging into several other deals while
listening to Vas and Yossi work with the entrepreneur. The banter was constant,
constructive and penetrating. A typical morning for new era global venture firm
like BlueRun Ventures.
One more example of a delightful surprise was bumping (literally) into Hayley at the desert brunch at the Marriott. She is an adventurous Aussie with a world-class heart, doing non-government organization work that helps educate street children in Mumbai. Her work partner and she are preparing a plan to raise money for a special NGO that trains young girls with practical skills and heads them into jobs, off the streets where they beg to survive. Sounded like a startup to me, so I listened with fascination over desert as Hayley described the local social scene and her dreams for the new venture. I got her into contact with Vas and reluctantly said goodbye as she departed with a half dozen other expats after their monthly visit to the Lotus brunch evening. They have small pocketbooks but large hearts and gather for the special dinner to share experiences and grow their friendships. I wish them well. They are an important part of the new India, the new Asia.
BOTTOM LINE: Asia is where it is happening. Just as I experienced the semiconductor-lead electronics explosion in the 1960-80 wave. It transformed Southeast Asia and the world. The new Asian entrepreneurial wave has even more potential. It makes the Davos gathering rather irrelevant. So get involved, get here, at least get some stock or buy one of the ETFs for the hot Asian countries. I have and will continue to do so as much as I can. In the words of a famous general long ago, “I shall return!”
P.S. Attention Taiwan, Brazil and Portugal: I just got word from my publisher that they have contracts signed to translate The Power of Unfair Advantage into complex Chinese (Commonwealth is again the publisher) and Portuguese. And be patient, I’m working on Korean and simple Chinese!
That's it for today. As Arnold would put it: Asta la vista, Baby!"