The Entrepreneur’s Epilogue And Defining Success

A.J Wasserstein
1hr 35min
April 6, 2023
About the Show

"I aspire to have this mosaic of a really rich personal life and a rich and fulfilling professional life."

A.J Wasserstein is Lecturer in the Practice of Management at the Yale School of Management, and was previously the Founder and CEO of ArchivesOne, a document storage company that sold to Iron Mountain after 17 years of operation and growth. 

Key Moments

School is in session with A.J as he recounts his experiences with choosing an industry for its ideal economic characteristics, using “programmatic acquisitions” to steadily grow into a national brand, and experiencing a sense of loss when he sold his company after 17 years. Learn about the unique world of Search Fund Entrepreneurship, why passion for the product is not necessary when starting a business, and why being a “10x10+” entrepreneur is the best road to achieving happiness in your career. 


  • (00:00) - Intro
  • (2:33) - Early years 
  • (5:11) - Why MBA students don’t usually start their own business
  • (10:29) - Why economic models matter for entrepreneurs
  • (12:11) - Understanding economic characteristics
  • (16:30) - How do you learn to make acquisitions? 
  • (19:52) - The difference between an acquisition and an integration
  • (22:00) - How to grow your business with “programmatic acquisitions” 
  • (26:57) - The three kinds of acquisitions
  • (31:27) - Is passion for the product necessary in entrepreneurship? 
  • (35:20) - How to cultivate passion
  • (37:37) - What is a Search Fund? 
  • (45:15) - The track, the horse, and the jockey
  • (49:45) - How fast should an entrepreneur move? 
  • (53:50) - Using economic characteristics to choose an industry
  • (59:45) - Why 10x10+ Entrepreneurs are the happiest
  • (01:04:00) - What is “enlightened human capital”? 
  • (01:11:00) - How does an entrepreneur achieve balance? 
  • (01:16:41) - The Entrepreneur’s Epilogue  
  • (01:28:22) - Defining happiness and success


Stanford Search Fund Study: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/case-studies/2022-search-fund-study-selected-observations

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