Ask A Billionaire

I ran across an earlier video on this YT channel where he asked random people on the street how they made money and happened to encounter a billionaire who not only answered the question but offered a follow-up for a longer discussion about his life, his career and his relationship with work and wealth.

I guess that watch led to this video featuring an interview with Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com. It’s an interesting exercise to compare Metcalfe’s attitudes about business, innovation and accountability with those of the typical exec.

A few highlights:

Twice, my board chose somebody else to be CEO of the company, and both times, they were right… And I’m not suprised, because I built that board, I recruited those board members one by one.

One of the important functions of a board is to tell you the truth. Self awareness is so hard. Very rarely does someone say, “You know, I really can’t do this job anymore. I don’t have the skills and plus, I’m getting tired.” No one ever does that. You have to fire their ***. That’s the purpose of the board. You need to be firing on all cylinders and it’s the board’s job to be sure the big cylinder is firing.

If there’s a bunch of you standing around and everyone’s introducing themselves, like “Tom, Noah, good to see you…” And that all finishes up, if you haven’t said your name during that introduction period, you need an ego fix right there, cuz you assumed that everyone knows who you are.



The Bob Metcalfe interview is great! Thanks.

The Captain