It's been a rough, long, deal-laden week, especially in my world of private equity. But I just wanted to take a few paragraphs to put down why I started all of this, why I started actually COVERING an industry which still the general public has had difficulty understanding. It is not their fault; it is the fault of all of us in the industry of not bridging the gap between the companies we deal with on a daily basis and the firms that own or owned them.
Yes, private equity journalists are dedicated to the insight, the numbers, the details. I have many friends within this area and I will continue to, because I respect and admire their work. But in June 2010, I took the task of trying to make it a little easier for the public to understand WHY private equity should matter to us. It was (and is) an unbiased way of following the money, pulling back the curtain to an industry that is still so archaic that it will take an NVCA-sized mountain to move it.
That said, I've been told to "shut up and drink my beer." I've been told nobody cares about this. I've even been told there are bigger people than me in the subject that people will listen to. And yet, those "people" who others refer to actually follow, respect, and support me. Dan Primack, arguably the most prominent in our business, showed his care and support at an event to me. It was one of the most powerful things to receive in my career. To get support from the othodox (Dan, PEHub, The Deal, DealBook, The WSJ, AltAssets, etc.) to the unorthodox (Michael Dell, Jim Breyer, Pat Kiernan) in terms of my industry coverage and attempts to try and explain such a complex industry to those who relate it to Mitt Romney, "vulture capitalism," and an evil genre in general.
I've been in this industry for 5 years. I've seen private equity firms figuratively and literally tear companies to the ground and I've seen other firms rescue companies that we love from the dead. I've worked on projects where a colleague at a private equity-backed company would be gone the next week. I will continue to cover this industry, because even some of the most powerful people in it TOLD ME to keep doing what I'm doing.
I'll go back to my scotch and the new Daft Punk album now as I see my future, but I will leave you all with this quote from a great man who we all should learn from:
"Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things."