This is a subject that has fascinated me for years.
When I was at MIT, I loved the course I took on signal processing. I found it amazing that there were mathematical techniques that could be used to find the signal and eliminate the noise.
I have always tried to focus on the signal to noise ratio of every system I’ve looked at.
Many of the engineering lessons I learned at MIT haven’t translated well into the venture capital business, but this one sure has. Every deal I look at has a signal which is what I try to figure out. But it also has noise. Determining which is which is not easy. And there aren’t any mathematical algorithms that can be used to do this work. But experience is a great algorithm and it seems to work pretty well for me.
So what led me to post this thought today? My new Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling Headphones of course. Brad Feld turned me on to them via his blog. I’ve got a night flight out to LA this Sunday and I just had to have them for the trip after reading Brad’s post.
I hopped onto the subway after buying them in the Bose store in Columbus Circle. I almost missed my train because I didn’t hear it pull into the station. If you’ve been in the NYC Subway, you’ll know that’s an amazing job of noise cancellation.