Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for reading our newsletter.
In January, two former b-to-v Investors have passed away, Volker Jantzen and Christopher Grabher. This is the first newsletter ever where we decided to express our condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues, and also inform our network (i.e. you), since we know that many more people from our extended network know and follow our members and their activities.
It was pure coincidence that I wanted to give this first newsletter of the year a more philosophical touch. Over the holidays, I read an interesting book about Time
written by Rüdiger Safranski, a German philosopher. In this book, Safranski quoted a little story that I wanted to share with you. I believe it contains an interesting message, about life (and death)
. The main character is a mythological figure, Cura
. The story was written by the Latin author Gaius Julius Hyginus
and goes as follows:
In crossing a river, Cura gathered clay and, engrossed in thought, began to mold it. When she was thinking about what she had already made, Jove (Jupiter) arrived on the scene. Cura asked him to grant it spiritus, "breath" or "spirit". He grants her request readily, but when she also asked to give her creation her own name, he forbade it, insisting that it had to carry his name. While the two were arguing, Tellus (Earth) arose and wanted it to have her name because she had made her body available for it.
The judgment is finally rendered by Saturn. He determines that since the spiritus was granted by Jove (Jupiter), he should have it in death; Tellus, or Earth, would receive the body she had given; because Cura, or Care, had been the creator, she would keep her creation as long as it lived. To resolve the debate, homo, "human being," would be the name, because it was made from humus, earth. (…).
This translation was quoted from Wikipedia
An alternative translation is here
First observation: This story is very different from the famous Adam & Eve story in the Bible/Genesis. The gender aspect is nowhere to be found in this story. In this story, all men are created equal.
Another important aspect – at least for me: Cura shall “possess men and women” for as long as they live. Do you find yourself waking up at night and worrying about your family, friends, or work? I guess we all do. It is because we care. We do the things we do in life because we care. We always care for ourselves (which also explains that care is not necessarily positive or selfless). But we also care for our families, friends, and colleagues, and for other people. In fact, even bad people care for something and devote their lives to (sometimes horrible) causes.
And how do start-ups come in the picture? Start-up teams devote their time to certain ideas and concepts. And most are launched because the founders care about something or somebody, both in terms of their business and privately.
Coming back to the beginning of this preface, Volker and Chris were entrepreneurs and investors. They cared about many things and people around them. They made a difference. I had the pleasure to work with them. We will miss them.
Alexander Stoeckel on behalf of the b-to-v Team