Like many venture firms, we usually spend most Monday mornings in a partners meeting where we discuss a range of topics that pertain to our business – everything from how we can help the companies we’re invested in, new opportunities we’re looking at to macro trends and new technologies. However, before we dig into those heady matters, there is always some interesting banter about how we spent our weekends.
Last Monday Derek Keller (a terrific young man who is interning with us again this summer) told us about his weekend of serious downhill mountain biking that ended abruptly when he jumped his bike off a 5-foot boulder face, caught some “serious air” and nose-dived into the rocky slope below. Derek and his machine parted company and he hit the ground hard before skidding to a stop well down slope. Good conditioning and preparation probably saved him from sustaining maximum damage, but the accident was serious. Concussion (his helmet did its job), cracked rib, scrapes, bruises, and 2 dislocated fingers.
Now, when you’re miles up a mountain and have to get down, dislocated fingers are a problem. Here’s where the adventure takes an interesting turn for me. This ingenious young man had the presence of mind to pull out his iPhone, access the Internet, and download instructions on how to get his fingers back in their proper sockets, fix himself, and get safely down the mountain. I wasn’t sure which part of the story amazed me most – the ingenuity of the solution or the technology that made it possible.
I thought about Derek’s experience all day and couldn’t get it out of my mind. The real epiphany for me is was the example of exceptional ingenuity and dazzling technical advancement, was second nature to this modest young man. It’s uplifting to think about a new generation of young, smart people whose second nature will be to embrace technology to develop new and better solutions for the problems of the world. Just as uplifting is the thought that Derek will be back at his usual 110% soon.
Tags: mountain biking