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Entrepreneurship, Second Edition by Andrew Zacharakis, William Bygrave

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6.12. CASE: Ajay Bam

With the quiet click of the meeting room door, Ajay Bam was left with one fewer person on his team. It was the spring of 2002, and Walter Stock—Ajay's friend and partner—had finally succumbed to the pressures of time and money. Troy Chen, the other founding partner, had exited two months earlier.

Ajay dialed new-venture attorney John Hession to vent his frustrations. Maybe at 27 he was just too young and inexperienced, right? Of course, he had understood that it was not going to be easy to start up a wireless payment and loyalty solution in the United States, but did it have to be this draining, this fraught with rejection and naysayers? Sure, he had assembled a top-flight board of seasoned advisors, but what good was that if he was unable to keep his team together or get any traction with investors? Broke and exhausted, Ajay confessed that, even though he had worked for two years to earn an MBA degree in Entrepreneurship, he was giving a lot of thought to a six-figure job that was still waiting for him with Lehman Brothers in New York.

As Ajay clicked off his cell phone, he was suddenly struck by the fact that the attorney had said almost nothing. He swallowed hard as he realized why; he had been talking like a quitter—maybe not worth the free advice and networking support that the skilled lawyer had been providing for months. And what about all the other professionals who had given Ajay so much of their time and encouragement over the past two years—including ...

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