Who is Dr. Larry Gold? He is a serial entrepreneur which three company starts to his name. They all ended differently though: he was fired from one, bought out by another, and is CEO of the current, SomaLogic. This sounds like the normal career trajectory for entrepreneurs, but what sets him apart is his honesty in how hard it’s been. At this edition of Entrepreneurs Unplugged, questions were led by Brad Bernthal and Brad Feld as Dr. Gold sat on the stage and rattled off mistakes: how he received 4Fs, 2Ds, and 4Cs, in his sophomore year at Yale, and still passed; how he had a hard time balancing work and life including his failed first marriage; and multiple times referenced (or embarrassed) his son who he loves very much. He told it straight-up – there was no fluff.
So, what lessons can Larry’s roller-coaster ride give us?
- Don't think about the risk, just do what you want to do.
- Try to do your best at what you’re doing with every ounce of your being.
- Don’t be driven by the thought of failure.
- Entrepreneurs believe 9^10=1 – Read Brad Feld's blog here about entrepreneurs math.
- Surround yourself with a good team, but also BE the person who realizes when things are hard.
- If your death doesn’t change the arc of the world you live in, don’t go to work.
- When you are out of your mind about getting something done, balance is hard.
- Ask what you want to do, not what you want to be.
- Getting lucky in High School and getting lots of money is the same, ask A LOT of people. (In reference to fundraising)
Larry Gold was a joy to listen to: great stories, good life lessons, and a few swear words. With nine points for the audience to take, I’m sure everyone in the room left with a new idea of what it really takes to get where you want to be. On top of this, these nine points really all led to the same message: be down to earth. Don’t have your head in the clouds. If you believe your idea is the greatest and nothing can go wrong, you might miss all the little details down on earth that make the difference between success and failure. Not only do what is good for people, see the good in people. To be an entrepreneur you are blissfully optimistic, the human population is inherently good in the eyes of Dr. Gold.
Larry Gold has stuck with SomaLogic. He is proud of the way he and his team have built it, even though they "failed" for nearly a decade. Larry wants to help people live healthy lives, for however long that may be. We like to fix people’s real problems, however big or small, too. At Quick Left, we love building things too, things that have an impact; things that we are proud to say we've built.