Entrepreneurial Karma

Source: Interview with Fred Gratzon, entrepreneur raconteur provocateur

Everyone is flawed. Almost always, your greatest asset is also your greatest liability. When you add a lot of money into the formula, character flaws that were not very detectable in the early days become very detectable as it grows. You don’t know. My greatest asset is my innocence. It’s also my greatest weakness. I’m easily taken advantage of. I’m easily pushed around. But, on the other side, innocence is like a conduit for good luck. It’s about integrity. I cannot, physiologically, psychologically, or emotionally, be devious, manipulating, to sell something that’s not 100% wonderful, that’s not good for the environment, that’s not good for everyone. Maybe it’s not good for AT&T, but I don’t care about them (laughs).

Good luck flowed through me. I brought the good luck to the business. I did not bring the brains to business. I did not bring the skill. I did not organize the finances, the legal. I could not talk Wall Street. I couldn’t organize the people. I attracted great people. That’s what I attracted. I attracted the resources and the ideas. In terms of "what good am I?" from a hard-core, Wall Street perspective, I was like a spare part. But, one would have to appreciate what I brought to the business, because when I was maneuvered out in the end, and that’s a long story, good luck went away, in both companies. The whole thing collapsed. It was like things happened within weeks of each other.