In 2002, I was pitching a Silicon Valley venture capital firm on my video game technology company at their office on Sand Hill Road. I was a few slides in when they said they wanted to bring in a psychologist they were working with to assess their founders. They believed that the outcomes for a company were closely related to the psychological profile of the founder.
When Howard Teich was introduced, the whole meeting shifted. It was like “bullet time” in The Matrix in that each word was slowed down as it traveled across the conference table. Howard wasn’t letting anyone off the hook. We couldn’t be vague or dodge questions. We couldn’t change the subject to one in our comfort zone.
There are few meetings with more pretense and artifice than a venture capital pitch. The same predictable questions are asked, and responses made. It’s a stylized drama like Kabuki theater, where the outcome is generally predetermined.
In Howard’s presence, the meeting was more like an encounter group. We moved out to the courtyard and sat for hours around a cedar table under the shade of an oak tree, with Howard ensuring that we were all seen and heard.
The next morning, Howard and I had breakfast at Il Fiorno in Palo Alto. After telling him some of my story, including some particularly surreal adventures, he advised me I had been “possessed by archetypes.” He assured me that I could learn to be guided, rather than possessed, by archetypes. I took him up on his offer and he’s guided me on balancing the solar and lunar aspects of consciousness ever since.
For more on Howard Teich, visit solarlunar.com.