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The Immeasurable Value of Great Friends

January 7, 2013

This past weekend my wife, Mari, celebrated her birthday. I won’t say how old she is, but she looks half her age anyway, and seemingly doesn’t age while I do…

We had the pleasure of spending the weekend with some dear friends, and had one of the best weekends of our lives. It is not often that you get extensive time together with a diverse group of people interacting, sharing views, stories, and just enjoying each other’s company. What was especially cool to me was the fact that we brought together people from different chapters in our lives, from locations as far away as Australia, and everyone meshed like they had known each other for years.

As I think back on the experience, I am struck by the immeasurable value of friendship. It is really what life is all about– relationships are what we are here for. However, if you look at the way many of us spend our time (I am for sure in this group), most of it is likely dedicated to work and generating income, and for those with kids, the endless juggling of divergent activity schedules. It is easy to neglect important relationships. But, there is an elasticity in strong friendships that can stretch, morph and change over time, while always staying connected. Even through neglect, great friends are always there when you need them, and after time passes, seamlessly pick up where you left off.

Really great people seem to connect quickly, and often very meaningfully because they immediately recognize the value of the other people. I saw it this weekend, and I see it in business as well. I travel all over the globe, and I can’t tell you how often good solid relationships are built through a simple warm introduction. This weekend I had friends from business school meet friends from undergrad for the first time, and at the end of the weekend, they seemed like long lost brothers. It was amazing.

It is not an accident that as a VC, one of the key values that my team and I bring to the table is a strong network. Entrepreneurs look for it, and they should. A great network is one of the most important assets that exists, and the value of the network becomes exponentially higher if the people are truly friends, and not just acquaintances. You can never invest enough time or energy into building great relationships.

The most moving part of the weekend for me was having one friend put an arm around me, and say, “I just want you to know how much I love you. I will always be here, and don’t ever forget it.” Have to say that there is nothing in the world worth more than that kind of friend.

From → People

One Comment
  1. Aida Gonzalez permalink

    Jon (if I may be so bold), please forgive my imposition in contacting you, but I felt compelled to do so. I am a close friend of Jennifer Unkrich, and through her photos, I was privileged to witness yours, and your lovely wife Mari’s, special weekend.

    I have always been struck with the knowledge of how we go through life not knowing that we might have touched a stranger’s life. As I enjoyed viewing the photos, I was moved by the display of love and friendship, and I couldn’t help but marvel at your accomplishment in honoring your wife by bringing together a special group of loved ones.

    My comments to Jennifer …
    “You and your friends are definitely keeping the young look, you all looked fab!! All of you could pass for the 20s. Amazing. Great hubby your friend has. He did her right.”

    And then, to top it off, you express my own thoughts of friendship, and special people in our lives, eloquently…and my thoughts turned to Jennifer and the friendship and love we share, and I understood and felt your words.

    Thank you, and please wish your wife Happy Birthday for me, for though we may not officially know each other, our “six degrees separation” connects us through Jennifer.
    God Bless,
    Aida Gonzalez

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