Book Notes: Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good

Once You're Lucky Twice You're Good Sarah Lacy
  • Max Levchin and many other famous entrepreneurs failed numerous times before hitting it big
  • Reid Hoffman(LinkedIn), Peter Thiel (Paypal/Clarium) and Sean Parker (Facebook/Napster) were all advisors to Friendster
  • Ability to be successful on the web is highly correlated to amount of capital you have access to
  • A bunch of the Internet greats went to the University of Illinois (Andreessen, Levchin). Seem random? It’s not. The internet is a lot less about being a ‘pure genius’ and a lot more about being in the right place, at the right time (oh and having a ton of connections helps too)
  • Surprise! Lots of famous Internet founders are non-technical
  • Even after starting Napster, Sean Parker still had a tough time raising money for Plaxo. Everyone has a tough time raising money.
  • There is really no such thing as particular Valley pedigree

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the book. For someone who was too young and bit naive to pay much attention to the dotcom bust, Lacy’s book gives a fun historical overview and sets the context for announcements such as Andreessen joining Facebook’s Board.

Bottom line is that the inner network of Silicon Valley is an old boys club. While it’s extremely tough to get accepted into, once you do, success will seek out those willing to put in the time and who know the right people.


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