If I knew then...

Crain's
by Sean Kennedy

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

An interview with Ori Eisen

The Mistake? 

I didn’t dream big enough. 
In 2004, I left my day job at American Express to start a company called 41st Parameter. Yet, as a person who loves business, who reads a lot and who knows what’s going on, for some strange reason, I never went to pitch Kleiner Perkins, which at the time was considered the No. 1 venture capital firm in the world. 
I went to 12 different VCs when I raised money for 41st Parameter, but I never called Kleiner Perkins. I never even tried to pitch them. I ended up raising Series A from [another firm], which is a top-tier VC, no doubt, and I went about my business.
A year goes by and the business was taking off. I went for a Series B and I felt slightly different after all the things that had happened. So, I finally went to Kleiner Perkins through a friend, who introduced me. At the end of the presentation, [a renowned investor] looked me in the eye and asked me one question: “Why didn’t you come to us before?” 
My heart sank. The only reason I didn’t go was because I didn’t dream big enough.
Michelle DiDomenico