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Luck and my practice of venture capital
In any pursuit where luck plays a huge role, it is hard to find a path to success. The easy thing to do is sit back and let the magic of…
In any pursuit where luck plays a huge role, it is hard to find a path to success. The easy thing to do is sit back and let the magic of the universe take over. If I luck my way into a great company, I will be a great VC, but deep down I will know it was just luck. The insane thing to do is spend a ton of effort trying to affect what I don’t control. If I try to control outcomes and companies and founders and decisions I will be seen as a typical VC, but deep down I will know I am just an asshole. These guardrails push me toward a third path, an acceptance of my lack of control and a focus on the actual practice of venture capital. If I am dedicated and the process of executing on the day to day work is good, the end result will be good.
I define success as a good practice because I can control the quality of my practice. I know I have no control over the cards I am dealt, but I also believe I can get much better at how I play them — so I focus my practice on improving in specific areas of the work.
I cannot control the quality of the meetings that I have in a day. I practice to create a calendar that allows me to prepare, engage and deliver a product I am proud of in every meeting. I can’t guarantee the advice I give a founder will be right. I practice to be present in each meeting and offer my best guidance without distraction. I can’t promise to be the best source of support when things are hard. In challenging times I practice empathy and care for the founder as a person. I cannot predict the success of any founder or company. I practice to make the most informed decisions possible with each opportunity to invest.
My definition of success in venture capital is a good practice applied to whatever luck I have. This is what I can control. This is where I focus.