VC Cliche of the Week

I am going to do a mashup this week.  I am going to combine my Nuggets, MP3 of the Week, and VC Cliche of the Week posts. Let’s hope this works.

Ian_hunterIn high school and college, I was a big fan of Ian Hunter and Mott The Hoople.  Ian Hunter released a brilliant self titled solo record in 1975 which I still listen to every now and then.

It’s has a fantastic cover of Who Do You Love and a bunch of other really rockin tunes on it. If you like straight up ’70s style guitar driven rock n roll, I bet you’ll like this record.

The opening number is called Once Bitten, Twice Shy and it is a fantastic song.  Ian opens it with the classic "Allo". I’ll never tire of that opening.  The song is about the corruptive powers of rock and roll. It’s a pretty well known song and has been covered a lot. Here it is in case you’ve never heard the song or just want to hear it again.  Man, did those guys rock.

OK, so now that we’ve gotten through the Nuggets and MP3 of the Week parts, here comes the cliche of the week.

Life is a learning experience. The older you get, the wiser you get.  But there is a cost to all of this learning.

I attended the Return Path open house last night and we got to talking about how some of the greatest works of art, music, science, literature, etc were created by people in their 20s.  And how these same people never did anything close to that brilliant for the rest of their lives.

There is something about not knowing the impossible or improbable.  It allows you to take risks and achieve at a level that can produce amazing results.  Look at Microsoft, Dell, Yahoo!, Google, etc.  All created by kids who had a dream and made it happen.

Life takes its toll on that blind enthusiasm.  You get bitten or burned.  And you become more careful and cautious.  Once bitten, twice shy.

I know. I’ve been there.

My post on Web 2.0 last week was taken by most to be a "yellow light" as Jeff Jarvis put it.  And so it was.

It’s human nature to be more careful the next time.  But caution isn’t all good either.

Venture Capital is about taking risks.  Not stupid risks, smart risks.  Risk and return are always correlated in the end.

So, the trick is to learn from life’s lessons, get smarter, wiser, but not shy.  You have to take risks to make money.

Once bitten, twice shy.  Gotta work against that tendency.