Perhaps the most striking sentence in i-Con, was the following description of Apple as being "No longer a place of passion but something that looked good on the resume" and this was Apple in 1980! How many companies can you think of that fit that description?
It's a salient reminder that passion breeds passion and must not be allowed to die and reminded me of the words of renowned venture capitalist Michael Moritz who wrote in 2000, "If arrogance was apparent at the dawn, it will inevitably permeate the company. If frugality, confidence, humility and a desire to develop a wonderful product or service were evident when an idea got started, then these will weave themselves into the corporate fabric. If modestly talented engineers were there at the beginning, the only people they will be able to hire will be the lame."
For me, that emphasises that there is nothing inevitable about the waning of passion in a business, but that the creeping comfort zone must always be recognised as the danger it is. Moreover, it should not be assumed that passion necessarily wanes with age and here again I quote Moritz talking more recently about Yahoo boss Terry Semel. "He's 60 years old but has the metabolism of somebody in his 20s. You can have some old 20-somethings and some young 60-year-olds, but the passion is the enduring theme."