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Vivek Ranadivé

Owner, Sacramento Kings

What I Love Most about Sacramento

"This city has so many great attributes, but the one thing that makes it unique is the people. It's the people and the fans that we come into contact with. It's their passion!

Sacramento is just right. It's not too big. It's not too small. It's got a diverse population and there are so many young people. There are people from the government, people from industry, people from university and healthcare. It's a city that's just right."

Keeping the Kings in Sacramento

"I came to California with nothing, so everything I have I owe to the state of California and Sacramento is our state's capital. Without the team, it would really be like ripping the heart out of the city. The Kings are like the whole deal for the city of Sacramento. I saw that firsthand and fell in love with the fans and the city and I thought, 'Maybe this is something that this immigrant is meant to do, is to step in and help keep the team in Sacramento.'

Then from there, we invested over $1B in Downtown and we built Golden 1 Center and built up the surrounding area, so this is truly a city that's built on basketball."

Investing in Downtown

"We have the opportunity to create the Next Great American City. I think of Sacramento as the city of the future. Our arena is the communal fireplace for the city, and it's our ground zero for the city of the future. It's where people will come and celebrate and connect with other people. We're using the arena as the catalyst and we've built other things around it. We're entering a new era, where people are moving back into the cities, where cities have the potential to be for people to work and to live and to watch sports and enjoy art, culture and food and music. All of that is happening in our downtown, right now, and it's just the beginning. There is a lot more to come!"

My Advice for Others

"When I speak with entrepreneurs, I say three simple things.

First, everything that's been done can be done better. When my friend Steve Jobs decided to build a cell phone, people were tripping over themselves trying to make cheaper and cheaper cell phones and it was a highly commoditized business. Any rational businessman would have told him, 'What, are you crazy? You've never built a cell phone before and there are big companies that are already doing that.' Then, within three years, the iPhone business was bigger than Microsoft and Google combined! When Phil Knight started Nike, people had been making shoes for thousands of years. So my first piece of advice is that anything that's been done can be done better.

The second thing is to surround yourself with people that are smarter than yourself. When I've built businesses in the past, I was always lucky enough to convince people to come join me that were ten times smarter than me. That's number two, to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.

The third thing is that, as an entrepreneur, the journey can have obstacles and it can have challenges, but just never ever give up. You know, just keep persevering and no matter what the pain, you'll get to your destination."

My Sacramento Recommendations

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