Ariadne was founded 15 years ago on the 8th of December to build the gold standard for the financing of entrepreneurship in Europe.
The Industry Standard (edited by John Battelle) put me on the cover calling Ariadne Capital: The Net’s Next Business Model. Little did they know how insightful they were being …. Can you say Ecosystem Economics?
There is much that we have done, that I’m very proud of – getting all of the great people at Ariadne Capital and EntrepreneurCountry to join me is one of the top things! But so much left to do as well. Many miles to go!
Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild keynoted at our 4th year anniversary party on the 8th of December 2004 (where Niklas Zennstrom was huddled in the back of the room looking a bit rough – we had been working with Skype for about a year at that point)… Lynn said from on stage in the front of the room, ‘I heard about a company named skype the other day …. Apparently the founder is quite extraordinary, he disrupted the music industry ….’ And at that moment Niklas stood up in the middle of 200 people at our anniversary party and said, ‘And now he’s going after telecoms….’ People were shocked … it looked as if it had been planned … it was like John the Baptist coming out of the water or something…..
We’ve always believed in the power of the entrepreneur to change the world. What makes us different at Ariadne is not that we value people, entrepreneurs when it’s obvious that they’re going to be successful … but we see potential earlier and we believe in our ability to add value and to make things become successful. Each one of us is a transformation agent in the world.
I am interested in building in everything I do the capability of the individual to be a robust actor in society for the optimisation of his/her capability/talents, fulfilment/ happiness, and wealth. Ariadne Capital and EntrepreneurCountry will be a unique platform for demonstrating how that is done. Increasingly the world is one of platforms and peers. Said another way, we are all both part of collectives in certain parts of our lives, and operate as individual actors in other parts of our lives. How we collectivise and how the value that we create or receive accrues to us individually and to the collective is both the great debate and challenge of our time. I believe Ariadne Capital and EntrepreneurCountry has to both have a point of view but also be a place where these new models are forged.
Ariadne Capital operates as an enabling platform in the market, so this is your company too. Let’s be great together.