HBS Entrepreneurs Feature Interview – March 2001

by Amy Blitz | Mar 14, 2001

As part of their collection of insights and interviews from leading members of the Harvard Business School’s entrepreneurial community, the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship featured Thomas Weisel.   As their website says, “entrepreneurs speak on a common set of themes including their development as entrepreneurs, strategies for identifying opportunity, and leadership.”

Their feature on Thomas Weisel goes into depth about his early years in sports and his family history, describing himself as being in the “frustrated athlete category, always pursuing excellence in a number of sports but never reaching the pinnacle in any of them.”  It also discusses how frustrated he was early on by the Harvard Business School, but how it was the critical element that helped jump start his career was the network that he established as a student. He also discusses how excited he is for the modern entrepreneur program, and how well it maps the critical elements of success with a professional service organization.  “I sure wish I had been exposed to [this] thirty plus years ago. It might have helped me get ahead a lot quicker.”

The interview also discusses his early career, and how his first job was at Food Machinery and Chemical Company as a staff member reporting to the president, until he finally got started with a venture capital operation on the West Coast.  From there he moved from research to institutional sales.

Other things that the piece discusses are Thom Weisel’s work with Robertson, Coleman, and Siebel, the start of Montgomery Securities, its sale to Nation’s Bank, and eventually his development of Thomas Weisel Partners.  Weisel also goes into depth on how to be successful, including how to attract good hires, how to survive near-death business experiences, and how to be patient.

Read the full piece by Amy Blitz, HBS Director of Media Development for Entrepreneurial Management, here.


by Amy Blitz | Mar 14, 2001