Sipping a glass of Soylent meal replacement beverage, San Francisco venture capitalist Roger Wilkins told reporters he likes to think of his children as start-ups.
“Brian was my first venture, and I really think I learned a lot from him,” said Wilkins, referring to his 26-year-old son who currently works as a social media marketer for an advertisement agency. “I’m sure if I look back, there’s a lot of things I would have done differently, but I was young. The first rocket you build is never going to be the one that takes you to the moon.”
Wilkins told reporters he started four companies before having one that really took off, and raised three children before feeling like he really knew what he was doing.
“That iterative mindset is really important to me,” Wilkins said both of his business outings and the human beings he chose to bring into this world and raise to adulthood. “If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never be able to succeed.”
“Take my daughter Becca, for example,” Wilkins added. “At first I was hoping to raise her with a strong acumen for the sciences, but after early results started coming in, we were able to pivot to the arts, and now she’s first chair violin in the Boston University student orchestra.”
Wilkins said that without the previous failures of his businesses LunchStart and Bulge and the disappointments of his children Brian and Janey, he would never know the proper way to start an efficient corporation or rear a child.
“I’m a data-driven guy,” said Wilkins. “And if you look at the data, Becca and Alex are doing pretty darned well for themselves.”
“In the end, all I want is for my children to find success,” Wilkins added, referring not to his actual biological children but to the tech companies he helped to start.