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In honor of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter yesterday. I wanted to write about hard work.
Even if you weren’t a basketball fan, you know who Kobe Bryant is. Kobe Bryant was great because of athletic ability and because he worked the hardest off the court.
*this is an excerpt from a story told about Kobe Bryant:
According to the trainer who worked with Team USA in Vegas during the summer of 2012. The duo shared numbers, and he told Bryant to call him anytime if he wanted to do some conditioning work. He received a call from Kobe at 4:15 AM after a few days, asking him to come to the gym. He left his hotel room, and Kobe was already drenched in sweat, and it wasn't even 5 AM in the morning.
They worked out for 45 minutes, and then the trainer went back to his hotel room to get some sleep before he gets back to the court at 11:00 AM again in the morning, while Kobe went back to his shooting practice. He met Kobe in the morning for scrimmage.
'I woke up feeling sleepy, drowsy, and almost pretty much every side effect of sleep deprivation. Thanks, Kobe. I had a bagel and headed to the practice facility.'
'This next part I remember very vividly. All the Team USA players were there, feeling good for the first scrimmage. LeBron was talking to Carmelo if I remember correctly, and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility was Kobe by himself shooting jumpers. And this is how our next conversation went -- I went over to him, patted him on the back and said,
Trainer Rob : "Good work this morning."'
Kobe : "Huh?"
Rob : "Like, the conditioning. Good work."
Kobe : "Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it."
Rob : "So when did you finish?"
Kobe : "Finish what?"
Rob : "Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?"
Kobe : "Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes so yeah, just now."
Venture is not like athletics, you aren’t judged by an audience of the world every day. Our “Wins” are over 10 years, and our losses are forgotten about by the onlookers. In Basketball, you couldn’t have just ‘Gotten lucky,’ in venture you can.
Over the last few years I’ve been going through the process of figuring out what the best investors do to make them great. Why do the best, stay the best?
After speaking to the top Venture Capitalists I know, I started to ask a few founders who their favorites were.
I asked one of my favorite founders (Don’t want to call them out) recently who their favorite investor was (Other than myself of course), they listed someone from a top firm. I asked another founder who their favorite investor was… they listed the same person!
I asked them both what made that person the best investor and they both said the same thing:
“He works the hardest for me.”
Hard work wins. It’s not magic. It’s the work you put in when you are off the court.