“When I was a teenager I thought that money, fame and success would be the solution to everything,” says Michael Jones. A serial entrepreneur in his mid-40s, Jones founded Implantable Provider Group in 2004, a healthcare company that buys medical implants like pacemakers, gives them to hospitals and collects reimbursements from insurance carriers.
The company grew rapidly and in 2010, IPG raised $25 million from Sequoia Capital, the Menlo Park-based venture firm whose portfolio reads like a greatest hits of Silicon Valley’s best known companies – Google , YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn , Apple , Whatsapp – to name a few.
With the Sequoia deal under his belt and IPG growing at 1,300% year-on-year, Jones as founder and president was snapping up accolades at every turn, including securing the number 5 spot on Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies list in 2011. “IPG was tracking to be a $40 million company,” yet it felt hollow, says Jones. “It didn’t quite have the allure I thought it would,” he says. This period of, “chasing shiny stuff,” as Jones refers to it now, seemed transient and lasting satisfaction kept slipping through his fingers.
“Being on the Inc. 500 had been an obsession of mine since I was 16,” says Jones. “I vividly remember August of 2008 when that happened – people were calling me, emailing and giving me high fives.”
But out at dinner with friends only a week later, no one mentioned it. “I thought, is it over already? It must be over already.”
Jones decided to stop and think about this. “The things like that I thought would have been mountaintop experiences, that euphoria would last only about a week,” he says. “I wanted the next phase to be about adding value.”
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