“Portrait of Bob Kocher, MD” Leica Monochrom M.
Heard of Obama Care? He helped write it. He’s been a McKinsey Partner, practicing physician, researcher, and executive. He’s a partner at Venrock and has invested in some of the most well-known healthcare companies. To say Bob is driven, brilliant, and respected would be a serious understatement. But with this much talent and success, you might expect a bit of an edge to Bob.
You’d be wrong. Bob Kocher of the nicest humans I’ve even met. He’s one of those people that makes the people around him feel great. He’s that guy you want in the boardroom when things get tricky. I was lucky to chat with Bob over lunch today about his leadership philosophy. If I were to sum it up in two words it would be “joyful entrepreneurship.”
Most VCs work hard helping portfolio companies drive outcomes. But how many of us consider the art of “joyful entrepreneurship” – of making the experience as fun and rewarding as possible every day. Building an authentic culture of learning, trust, gratitude, and excellence. That’s Bob’s sweet spot.
Of course, everyone wants a great financial outcome. But an equally important idea is to consider that the journey probably matters as much as the exit. Years after all those early employees have left the company, how do they remember the experience? Was it a great adventure with colleagues that became lifelong friends? That doesn’t mean that it’s always fun or that tough decisions don’t have to be made – but it does mean that we think about the day to day as much as the destination. (see Ithaka).
Those memories might just be the currency that matters most.
If I were starting a company today, I’d certainly want this Doctor on my board.