I’d have been working in the previous media — print, TV, radio, where I started my career, pre-Internet.

I often think about what I’d be doing if I’d been born a few hundred years ago, trying to settle on the closest match to my work in startups today.

At the moment, I think the closest match would be working in the tea or spice trade. Those huge, fast tea clippers were the startups of their day — speculative, venture-backed, finding new things consumers might want to buy and trying to get them to market quicker, cheaper and smarter than the competitors in their tea clippers.

Very likely to not make it back and quite likely to just disappear, never to be seen again.

But if you made it back, the things you found could be more valuable than gold, and even as a lowly sailor you could be wealthy for life from the proceeds of one journey.

If you could make it back…

I’m Alan Jones, an EiR for startup accelerators, GP at M8 Ventures. Previously investor, founder, and early Yahoo PM. Opinions mine (but should also be yours).

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