Archive for the ‘Georges Doriot’ Category

Caveat Author: Two Readers Have Spoken

July 10, 2008

One of the great (and potentially humiliating) things about is that its Web site enables absolute strangers to publish reviews of your book. Caveat author.

In April, one of my friends wrote the first review of my book on Amazon. I was thrilled–especially because she liked it and made me see the book in a new light. The funny thing is I didn’t ask her too. She did it completely on her own volition, without any bidding from me.

Well, after reading her post, I started to get ancy about those darn reviews. I wanted more of them. I began to compare the number of reviews my book had generated with other books I’d been following. Amazon has a knack for exposing your insecurities as an author–writers’ obsession with the Amazon’s sales rankings is only the most obvious illustration of the site’s quasi-evil ability to inspire high anxiety.

So I began asking a few other family members to pen an Amazon customer review. I pitched the task as a sort of family obligation. The result: deafening silence and inaction. As I checked my sales ranking in April and May, that lonely review became a thorn in my side. In June, though, I started to kick my daily addiction to the Amazon author page. Now, I only check my site once or twice a week.

Here’s the happy ending: While I regained some balance in my life, two people published reviews of my book on Amazon like little elves in the night spreading happiness and joy. The first review from Harvard Business School student Franklin J. Seker came on July 7; and the second, from HBS student B. Beatty, popped up July 9. Thankfully, my patience was rewarded: both gave Creative Capital five stars. See the two reviews below:

An inspirational mentor — General Doriot, July 9, 2008
By B. Beatty “cirencester” (Winston-Salem, NC United States) – See all my reviews

I was in the General’s class at HBS in 1961. When he discovered that I was an active duty military officer, he took an obvious personal interest in me (although he did not call me “Bernie”, as he called Samuel Bodman “Sammy”). Nevertheless, I will never forget the inspiring interactions with him and his varied guests from many walks in life, including Jackie Cochran, pioneer aviator. The author has done a first-rate job of pulling together details that shed light on a great man, as well as his wife. I finished the book in record time.

By Franklin J. Sekera – See all my reviews

I was General Doriot’s student at Harvard in 1960. He and his views had a profound impact on my life, both in business and personally. His emphasis on ethics, patience, creativity and freedom led me, in my various roles in life, to pass on these same qualities to all my associates.
The book is well written and provides a useful insight on the private man. It’s too bad that this information was not available in 1960.


Brilliant! Fred Wilson Launches Doriot Quote of the Day

May 28, 2008

Yesterday, Fred Wilson, co-founder of New York venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, began a new feature on his blog called Doriot quote of the day.

Why didn’t I think of this idea!?!?

It’s brilliant because Doriot had a Nietzschian knack for penning catchy and wise aphorisms. Fred also adds my book would “interest most VCs and probably many entrepreneurs too.”

Says Fred:

Doriot Quote Of The Day
I’ve been reading Creative Capital, Spencer Ante’s biography of General Georges Doriot, the father of the modern venture capital business. It’s a book that would interest most VCs and probably many entrepreneurs too. The highlight of the book are Doriot’s colorful quotes. I posted one to my tumblog earlier and I just decided that I am going to post a Doriot quote everyday on this blog until I run out of them. Here’s the first:

A team made up of the younger generation, with courage and inventiveness, together with older men of wisdom and experience, should bring success.

— General Georges Doriot, in the American Research and Development 1949 Annual Report. ARD was the first institutional venture capital firm.

Edna Allen Doriot’s New York Times Obit

January 6, 2008

Here’s a link to the New York Times obituary of Georges Doriot’s life-long wife, Edna Allen Doriot. It was published on July 9, 1978. Edna, 77 when she passed away from lymphoma, was a force in her own right, receiving many honors during her life, including the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. (The Doriots are one of the few couples in the world to have been awarded with a Legion of Honor–for his service during World War II Georges was named a Commander of the Legion on August 6, 1954.)

The obit notes Edna’s contribution to the French Library in Boston, of which she was president: “Since 1947, she helped to develop the French Library . . from 400 volumes to more than 40,000. It now serves American schools and colleges and is visited by ambassadors, Cabinet members and scholars from around the world.”

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