As a young man whose initial interests lay in matters about money, Eric Lefkofsky made his fortune from the worldwide e-commerce marketplace Groupon, which he founded in 2008. When interviewed about his having said that as a youth he was fascinated with money, Mr. Lefkofsky clarified this statement by pointing out that in other professions, there are various ways to measure success. For instance, if a person is a lawyer, the number of legal cases won are evidence of success. Or if a person is a physician, the number of people he or she has helped evinces success.
But, if a person is in the financial arena, monetary profits are the only measure of success. Therefore, by necessity there must be a keen interest in money, Lefkofsky contended. After having founded the Venture Capital firm Lightband with his business partner, Lefkofsky invested in over 100 companies. Along with this same partner, Lefkofsky also established Uptake, a company which utilizes data science to improve the safety and operations of other companies.
In the same interview in which he expressed his interest in money, Lefkofsky added that after a person reaches a certain level of success, money no longer functions as a primary purpose in life since there is a limit to how much of it a successful person needs. “At some point, you’re kind of like, ‘Okay, I have more than I could possibly need.’ So… you start thinking about giving it away….” With this idea of donating money, Lefkofsky has recently been involved altruistic causes.
Most of Eric Lefkofsky’s time is now spent running Tempus, a cancer-fighting technological firm that he has co-founded. This firm compiles data that assists in making cancer care more efficient for individuals. Also, as a successful entrepreneur who has not forgotten the words of poet John Donne that “no man is an island entire of itself,” Mr. Lefkofsky has donated much of his fortune to the efforts of cancer research and treatment for those with cancer. Indeed, his generous efforts have made positive in-roads in the lives of many cancer patients and loved ones.
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