Dave Hersh, founding CEO of Jive Software and early stage advisor & investor, visited our Menlo Park office today to talk about a “Hero’s Journey of Entrepreneurship.” We very much appreciated his time and Rebecca Hinds of Piccolo Technologies captured the essence of his discussion below:
Throughout history, humans have been drawn to stories of the heroic underdog who summons the courage to take unprecedented risks to achieve greatness. The late American mythologist Joseph Campbell famously proclaimed that such stories tend to share a similar underlying structure, which he summarized as the Hero’s Journey. According to Dave Hersh, former CEO of Jive Software and current Board Member at Crushpath, an understanding of this journey is particularly relevant and applicable to entrepreneurs. Through a sequence of anecdotes, revelations, and reflections, Hersh introduced the 2012 Highland Capital Summer Program teams to the entrepreneur’s Hero’s Journey.
The entrepreneur’s journey is akin to Campbell’s Hero’s Journey in that it, too, is instigated by a call to action. The entrepreneur is summoned, either accidentally or by force of will, to venture off from normality into an unknown domain. The entrepreneur identifies a pain point in the market and expresses an initial desire to subjugate it. This call to action tends to be followed by some manifestation of supernatural aid. The entrepreneur must successfully immerse him or herself in a network of advisors and mentors who represent the entrepreneur’s own aspirations and values.
It is important to recognize that the entrepreneur’s journey is, by no means, a carefree adventure. It necessarily entails a sequence of trials and tribulations that the entrepreneur must overcome. These trials and tribulations involve hiring decisions, budget cuts, and other strategic resolutions that are imperative to the holistic growth of the company Regardless of the challenge, the entrepreneur most adopt the mantra of a warrior and “do whatever it takes to move the company forward”.