Venture Weekly Issue 47 – Entrepreneurship is Both Risky and Daring

Top Story
   »Defending why seed investors should lead
   »Describing why there has been a spike in established VCs raising new funds in early 2016, and how other firms should consider approaching LPs
   »Championing bold entrepreneurship in the face of staggering odds as the way to truly change the world
   »Describing why investors need to be thoughtful and respectful in passing on investment opportunities
Market Trends
   »Exploring the old saying “too many VC dollars chasing too few good deals,” and why this is unlikely to change any time soon
   »Highlighting top companies at Collision 2016
Startup Focus
   »Explaining in simple terms why each $1 of funding means $10 in expected exit value – and the implications thereof
   »Arguing that there are only three ways a startup should approach pricing
   »Describing how understanding learning profiles can improve hiring and reduce employee turnover
   »Discussing how to approach investing in great hardware companies


Entrepreneurship is Both Risky and Daring

What is a venture? A search on Google returns the following definition for “venture”: “a risky or daring journey or undertaking.” This definition seems to perfectly encapsulate the meaning of a venture in the context of entrepreneurship. But this definition actually represents two definitions, one skewing towards “risky” and one skewing towards “daring.” Both perspectives are important, both are true, and it is an awareness of both that makes the pursuit of entrepreneurship so rewarding.


Regarding the “risky” piece, Bryce Roberts rehashes in Are We Reaching the Limits of Silicon Valley’s Venture Model? the adage that there are “too many VC dollars chasing too few good deals,” and that this is a trend that won’t end well: “Maybe the answer to the liquidity problems facing the Silicon Valley VC model isn’t a cleaner termsheet or a wider IPO window. As the old saying, history and data suggest, there are ‘too many VC dollars chasing too few good deals,’ but that hasn’t stopped anyone from doing more of the same.” This is a cold, analytical, and important component of entrepreneurship, typically found in greater measure on the investing side.


On the “daring” side of things, Vinod Khosla states in The case for intelligent failure to invent the future, “Too often, there is a tendency, especially among investors, large corporations, and public officials, to reduce the probability of failure to the point that the consequences of success become inconsequential [… ] Skeptics and cynics never did the impossible, and we need the impossible to bridge our resource gap. Please don’t call a committee hearing or start a research study to follow up on this idea. Just go do it.” This is a passionate, mission-driven, and crucial component of entrepreneurship, typically found in greater measure on the founder side.


In the end, entrepreneurship is, and must be, both risky and daring. Fortunes, whether they be financial, temporal, or emotional, are won and lost in this pursuit. But as long as you can feel that what you are doing is both risky and daring, you will know that you are on the right path.

-Teddy Lee, Contributing Editor