Risk And Reward Are Not Obvious


Photo: Michael Kumm

I went to business school in the mid ’80s. Investment banking was hot. The leveraged buyout craze was on. Junk bonds were hot. Everyone wanted to work on Wall Street.I was obsessed with venture capital and had worked in a small venture firm the previous summer and had gotten an offer to work full time in venture capital for $60k per year with no bonus and no incentive comp. I also had gotten a job offer from an investment bank at $125k per year with a bonus opportunity of $250k.

Those investment banking job offers were all over the business school and almost everyone I knew took them. They all went on amazing summer vacations and showed up on wall street in September. In October 1987 the stock market crashed and by December many of my classmates were out of work.

I took the VC job, made basically enough to live in an apartment in NYC for 10 years, but I did set myself up for Flatiron and then USV.

I told this story in a comment to my MBA Tuesdays post and figured it was worth posting as a full blog post. Risk is not obvious. And reward is not obvious. Don’t do the obvious thing. Because I can assure you it rarely works out as planned.

This post originally appeared at A VC.










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