It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn of Entrepreneurship

Understanding the investment process in Silicon Valley used to require membership to a very exclusive club of investors, plugged-in media and experienced entrepreneurs. Adeo Ressi sought to change that. After starting seven successful companies that created over $2 billion in shareholder value he was faced with diminishing equity with each new company he would start. In 2007, Ressi unveiled the anonymously backed in 2007 to shine a light on the situation to improve the human and financial relationships between investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and around the world.

Since then, Ressi launched The Founders Institute in 2009 as an early-stage startup accelerator and global launch network that helps entrepreneurs create meaningful and enduring technology companies. The institute as launched 550 companies in 27 cities across five continents. When asked to share his best advice for budding entrepreneurs, Ressi reminded us to stay true to the mission and customer value, “It truly is always darkest before the dawn in entrepreneurship. Don’t throw in the towel even when it seems the worst…it’s part of the journey of success.”

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The End of Business as Usual is officially here…

  • Carolyn

    27 cities in 5 continents… but not in Canada. Too bad.

    • briansolis

      Hopefully they’ll work on that…

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  • Max Minzer

    The point Adeo made about being passionate about what you do is so critical, indeed. It applies to every aspect of our lives.
    The joy and satisfaction you get when passionate about your business is the best kind of advertising or “story” that your customers can see and genuinely want to be a part of.

    Another great interview, Brian! Superior!

    • briansolis

      Absolutely Max!

  • André Bartholomeu Fernandes

    I really like the way he is dealing w/ entrepreneurship being serious, mature and very consequential. It annoys me the sensationalism around the theme that is so important for the life of people, their survival and so much can be lost. He got me. Tks, Brian and Adeo :)

  • Derek Overbey

    I wish more entrepreneurs cared about making a difference like Adeo does. I think it would make the Valley and beyond a much better place to work, live and network. Great interview Brian.

    • briansolis


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  • Joe Griffin

    Very cool hearing this perspective. Some interesting stats around funded companies, dysfunction, transparencies, and positive change. Good stuff guys. I took action and checked out The Founder Institute.

    • briansolis



Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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  • Brian Solis LikeMinds, London
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