Entrepreneur has made a habit of attempting the impossible.
Knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, science and the community
If the path to success is treading where others won't, then technology entrepreneur Sir Neville Jordan was already on his way at 13.
Working at Petone's Gear Meat Works while barely a teenager, he took on a job making dried blood.
"It was highly skilled and it was really good money and I found out why -- because nobody wanted to do it," Sir Neville said during a lecture last year.
Decades later in 1997, a telecommunications business he founded became the first New Zealand company to list on the Nasdaq's main board.
No other Kiwi firm has yet to do the same.
Sir Neville, who today was appointed knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, says he's also been spurred on by people telling him something couldn't be done.
When he was 12, he chuckled, this saw him even try to build an atomic bomb with materials from the Petone pharmacy.
"Striking out and treading new paths has been something I've done all along," he said.
This was true with his company, Endeavour Capital, which he started in 1999 and has since helped set up and support over 30 science, engineering or technology businesses.
Endeavour is now planning to publicly list a fund that would invest in companies with "defensible intellectual property", he said.
Having passed the age where many others retire, Sir Neville is still Endeavour's executive chairman, although he plans to gradually step back from the company's day-to-day operations during the next year.
That's not to say he won't be busy; in 2015 he will also serve as Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington at a time when the internet is changing the consumption and delivery of tertiary education.
This internationally-recognised engineer, who has bachelor and honorary doctorate degrees from Canterbury University, clearly holds education in high regard.
His Jordan Foundation provides funding and scholarships to help get students to university who otherwise might not have the opportunity to go.
And for those who think learning ends once they enter the workforce, Sir Neville raises the example of top sports people: "Tiger Woods and many of those top golfers, they're right at the top of their game and yet after a competition they're out again practising. A lot of our people stop practising; they think they know everything and unlike those top golfers and top sports people they don't keep on practising and developing," he said.
Today's appointment is one in a long stream of accolades for Sir Neville, who in 1999 was invested as a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
A former president of the Royal Society of New Zealand, he is also laureate of the Business Hall of Fame and a retired officer of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve.
He was valued this year by the National Business Review Rich List as being worth $75 million.