A year into seed stage investing via Homebrew, I’ve realized what my VC role models have in common: self-awareness. They seem to know what their strengths are, which blind spots they need to correct for, and then not worry about what they aren’t. If 20 years from now it’s been proven that I was a great technology investor, it won’t be because I mimicked the best but rather found my own path.
Fred Wilson’s latest post was a perfect example. Fred is someone I’ve admired for years and been lucky enough to spend time with on several occasions (even getting banned by LinkedIn together). As Fred writes in “The Pre-Product Phase” ->
“I’ve pretty much given up investing in products that aren’t ready for public use. It has not really worked out for me. I really enjoy investing in a business where the product is out in the wild, getting used, and everything else has to be figured out. I am good at that. But I am not good at investing in the figuring out the product stage. My track record proves that conclusively….
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. My weakness is the pre-product phase. I thought I’d make that clear to everyone. It will save us all a lot of time and energy.”
As a venture capitalist my time is finite – even more so than my capital. If you don’t know who you are – and who you’re not – I have no idea how you can be effective. And you’ll probably waste entrepreneur’s time and your investor’s dollars.