“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson It is December 1999 — I am on top of the world. Two months prior, my first venture-backed company sold for $193 million. My second startup, ShoppingList, just closed another round of financing, raising tens of millions. We were pooh-poohing 9-figure acquisition offers. We were partying like it was… the end of the millennium! And I was insufferable.