Q: You’ve had both failures and successes in your business career. Can you share a few lessons you’ve learned from each?
Without exception, the failures that I have had eventually ended up being the best thing that happened to me. Therefore, in the failure front, I have learned that just because something is a failure now, over time it could manifest itself as a great success, maybe not in the way that you were expecting, but in a totally different manner.
Successes, on the other hand, have taught me to keep my humility. I have learned that because a venture succeeded does not mean that you now have the “golden touch” and can’t fail again. I am always very grateful when a venture succeeds, but learned early on that you should never believe your own propaganda.
Q: We all say we don’t have regrets, but of course that’s not entirely true. If you could do something over in your business life, what would it be?
If I had the opportunity to do something over, I would have better capitalized Terremark before we started building the NAP of the Americas as funding was readily available when we were awarded the right to build it. In the heady days of the Internet bubble, funding was never an issue. The only thing that mattered was speed. So with the land, plans and permits secured, we commenced construction without being worried about all the funding. We never planned on the Internet bubble bursting, the telecommunication industry imploding and, of course, September 11.
Wall Street shut down and all funding dried up during the crisis. We almost did not survive. It is a lesson that I took to heart, and when the subsequent financial crisis occurred in 2008, we were fully funded with a very large cash balance and we were able to take advantage of the numerous opportunities presented to us.
Q: What’s the thing that money can buy that you value most?
The freedom to do what I want.
Q: What’s the thing that money CAN’T buy that you value most?
Family and friends. I am very lucky to have very close friends that have been my friends for most of my life.
Q: Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your colleagues?
That I am a black belt in Kung Fu