Born: June 1, 1930
Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SB 1952
Career: U.S. Army, first lieutenant in the Korean War; Computer Control Co., chief engineer (acquired by Honeywell Inc. in 1966); Electronic Memories & Magnetics Corp., vice president (1968-1971); Sycor Inc., chief operating officer (1970-1971); WestVen Management, partner (1971-1973); Institutional Venture Associates, founding partner (1974-1980), Jamieson & Co., sole proprietor (1980 present); Sigma Partners, founding partner (1984 present)
Philanthropic Endeavors: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, board of trustees; San Francisco Opera, board of directors; MIT, Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Visiting Committee
Family: wife – Elizabeth; grown children – John B. (Sandy) III, Ellen and Douglas
Favorite Quote: “We make a living from what we earn. We make a life from what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Favorite Historical Figure: George Washington
Favorite Book: The Profit
Parting Comments: I’m a relic of a past era! It was tough being a youngster growing up in the 30s and 40s. Now, however, I am very happy to have lived in that time of American history.
Jamieson’s philosophy as interpreted by Wade Woodson
* VC is a great business, but it follows a 10- to 12-year cycle.
* Look for strong management teams.
* Invest in companies making solid contributions to their industry.
* Chose companies which do not have to become huge or be the first to market to be successful where small size is not a disadvantage.
* Select businesses that can become profitable with a reasonable amount of invested capital.
* There is no alternative to tough due diligence done by yourself.
* Success in VC is not being in every great deal, but it comes through avoiding all the bad deals.
* The prosperity of the partnership is the most important factor in any business decision.
* The best proof of a partnership’s belief in themselves is heavily committing their own personal net worth to their decisions.
* Every partner is responsible to have an opinion on every deal.