He Made A Few Billion, But Wanted To Talk About The Knicks

Coinbase made its public markets debut as a $100 billion dollar listing last week. Fred Wilson and his firm, Union Square Ventures, helped lead their Series A back in 2013. They turned 5 million into almost $5 billion over that period of time.

The day Coinbase went public – what was Fred thinking about besides the commas in his net worth? Coach Tom Thibodeau. He was thinking about how Thibs turned the Knicks around this year, and what a difference a good leader can make on a team.

God, I love this guy. Here’s what Wilson wrote on his blog (avc.com) the day Coinbase started trading:

Watching Thibs at work is a lesson in leadership. He sets the tone, expectations are high, players that don’t put in the effort don’t play, no matter who they are. Everyone knows what is expected of them.

I have seen this in companies too. The same team, with the same product, in the same market, can be completely transformed by a new leader. Leadership matters. A lot.

The win (or the loss) is already in the rearview. The next challenge is out there, through the windshield. That little mirror is such a tiny relative thing compared to that big ol’ piece of glass. Why would we want to focus on what’s behind us when we’re navigating forward? Seriously. Why?

If we’re committed to making progress, we’re committed to looking past the rearview and forward towards the next destination. We’re taking in the patterns, recognizing what works – even if it comes from other places (like basketball), and we’re making our miles.

You don’t drive focused on the rearview. Sure, glance on occasion. But you’ve got that whole windshield in front of you for a reason. Focus there. Focus forward. Thanks Fred for leading by example.