Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that “Innovation never comes from the establishment. It comes from a graduate student, a crazy person, or a person with vision." I was about to meet some of those people at TED @MotorCity.
I was coming off a high generated by the spectacular media success of my modest Summit just weeks before. I arrived slightly late and had to wait to be seated during an intermission between speakers
I bumped into one of the organizers of this TED event and asked him what he thought would happen if you plugged TED into a $100 million of investor capital. He eagerly answered that he wanted to know more. I had the same response from event speaker Lisa Gansky, who as a rare woman in the tech field had raised millions years ago before selling her company to Kodak.
The smartest and most successful investors are the ones who can discern a needle of opportunity in a haystack of mundane moments that make up any normal business day—then act on it with haste. I was beginning to realize that some people just could not see the opportunity, unless they were a “crazy person, or a person with vision.”