People always ask me, "What's 3Seed mean?" There are probably a dozen good answers that have to do with forming the company, the original three partners, and more. But I personally like the story that John Mulder, one of our managing partners and a longtime friend, told at one of our first meetings with our staff. It goes something like this.
There was a king who had no children and as he got older, knew he had to choose a successor to the throne. He decided to give all the boys in the kingdom three seeds, have them grow the flowers, and in one year show the results of their work in the kingdom's courtyard. The king would choose his successor in one year, based on the results.
One boy put his seeds into a pot with rich soil and tended to the seeds daily. But nothing grew. He changed the soil, changed the pot, provided water and sunlight, but still nothing. As the deadline approached, the boy considered not going to the courtyard to display his "flowers" but he decided to go there and tell the truth, he could not get his seeds to grow, and he had failed.
The courtyard was filled with amazing, lush plants and flowers from young men across the kingdom who were there to impress the king. The boy was embarassed and ashamed. As the king walked up and down the aisles filled with these colorful flowers, he stopped and stared at the boy and his empty pot. "Where is your plant?" the king asked. The boy was embarassed to admit that he could not grow anything, even after changing the soil, and giving the seeds the best care.
After viewing the rest of the plants, the king announced that he was very impressed with all the plants, but there could be only one heir to the throne. He chose the boy with the empty pot. The king then told the confused crowd that prior to distributing the seeds, he boiled them, making them sterile. The only person who was honest and brave enough to bring the empty pot was this boy, the new heir to the throne.
Sometimes we all end up with an empty pot. There is no shame in not being the best every time. We all possess the power of honesty, and it will truly pay off if you are honest with yourself and others.