Shervin Pishevar, the managing partner at Menlo Ventures and former chairman of Social Gaming Network, gave a truly inspiring speech at Silicon Prairie News’ Big Omaha conference recently.
The video of the speech is below, so you can watch it, and the best part of the speech is transcribed here.
It’s an anecdote about how Pishevar got Jamie Dimon and Adam Dell to invest in his company — at age 22!
“It could only happen in America,” he says.
Get inspired below.
“Dimon was young, up and coming, amazing reputation and Sandy [Weill] kicked him out, because Sandy’s a jerk. He wanted to promote his daughter instead of keeping this guy…”
“[So this story says] Jamie’s got a year, he’s thinking about what he’s doing next. So he’s got a little office in New York with a secretary… So in my 22-year old mind, I thought, perfect. He’s unemployed, he’s available. I’m gonna contact this guy. So I called 411 in New York and I said, can I have Jamie Dimon? And they said, hold please.”
“And I remember I was in my parent’s home in my childhood room on the phone. The phone picks up and I’m thinking the secretary picks up. Hi, may I speak to Jamie Dimon? And the voice says “This is him.” And I realise, “oh shit!” I have 30 seconds and this guy’s going to hang out. And that moment transformed my life and I knew in those 30 seconds I had to be on and I was on.”
“And whatever I said, I wish I had recorded it, but whatever I said, he said, come up to New York and let’s meet. And I did. He ended up investing in the company.”
“He’s now CEO of JPMorgan, the most powerful bank in the U.S.”
“That gave me credibility and confidence to ask other people. I remember going into another meeting, a VC, I emailed this guy, just a cold email, and the guy sitting across from me gives me his business card and it says, “Adam Dell,” and as a joke I said, oh you must be related to Michael.”
“And he says, yeah that’s my brother.” I was like Oh, crap. Because I had no idea. So he actually ended up joining the dinner with Jamie Dimon and I ended up raising $10 million for my first company.
“So that’s really, at the end of the day, that journey from war and revolution, to educating myself, is an American story. It’s something that could really only happen in America…”
“Going back to my initial point, life is so short that we should all want to be truly free [being mentally, physically, spiritually and economically] free.”
“One of the best ways to become that way is to start a company.”
Wall Streeters, you have the money. And you probably have access to people like Jamie Dimon. So quit your boring day job and start your dream job.
Big Omaha 2011 – Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures from Big Omaha on Vimeo.