Is venture capital worth the risk?

For a certain sort of nineteenth-century person—the sort with high risk tolerance and little revulsion to brutality—a natural career lay in whaling. The odds of success here were, by almost every measure, poor. An expedition first needed to find whales in the vastness of the oceans. If it succeeded, it had to approach the whales in silence, with a small craft; strike with a harpoon; stay afloat, intact, engaged, and oriented as the poor creatures thrashed about, sometimes for miles through iceberg-laden water; row back to the main ship with the carcasses; harvest the baleen and render the oil; and survive the journey home. ….[READ]