One big learning was that it’s okay to be wrong. Also, having a partner to make mistakes alongside me — that continues to be a powerful thing to this day.

By the time Steve Lau sits down to breakfast, Rameez Ansari is getting ready for dinner. But even though these two former college squash buddies live on opposite sides of the world, they’re proving that time and distance has only enhanced their successful partnership.

Faking it is when you see another company out there, and you say, “We just want to be like them. What’s their tagline? Just use the messaging from their website.’” That will never work, because it’s not authentic to you.

The guidance to “fake it until you make it” is “the worst business advice ever,” says Sabrina Horn, founder of Silicon Valley PR firm Horn Group (now part of Finn Partners), C-suite advisor, and author of the new book, Make It, Don’t Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success. …

For me, the biggest lesson was entirely about dialing up my empathy. To lead from a place of understanding regarding the challenges our team members were facing outside of work and creating the culture and the flexibility to enable them to do their best work.

You’re certainly familiar with the proverb “necessity is the mother of invention.” For Isabelle Kenyon, this saying rings especially true — and in quite a personal way.

We had the mentality that we weren’t going to build a startup for the sake of building a startup. We wanted to build a company that could grow to shape the way people work.

Growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts, Devaki Raj often trekked out to nearby Walden Pond. But it wasn’t just to seek out the tranquility of the bucolic lake made world famous by the 19th century writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau.

Quality over quantity


Avenue 8 empowers agents with both cutting edge technology and the economic alignment to be their customer’s strongest advocates.

In 2021, real estate agents face a much more challenging market than their predecessors. Consumers search for homes online and are increasingly more self-directed. Agents must look beyond their brokerage to build and maintain robust personal brands.

It’s been a tremendous journey for the company, but the team has stayed true to their original vision of harnessing the power of biology at scale, even as they have faced and overcome major challenges.

Zymergen is a “biofacturing” company. It leverages the power of nature’s biological processes, along with the company’s ability to rapidly modify, test, and scale up production of molecules and microorganisms, to produce useful materials at half the time and a tenth of the cost of traditional chemical manufacturing methods. …

We can turn ideas into reality. And you have a team that helps you do it better than you can do it yourself. And you can take these thoughts out of your mind and actually make them real. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that. It’s the best feeling to see that become reality.

Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Paul Allen.

Threshold Ventures

Threshold Ventures

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store