Knowing What You Are Looking For
There are many ways to invest successfully. Public stocks, bonds, private equity, real estate, venture capital, etc. And within each category, there are so many different investment opportunities.
In public stocks, there are something like 5,000 listed stocks in the US. In venture capital, there were something like 30,000 companies that raised venture capital in 2019.
How do you make sense out of all of that opportunity?
I’ve always been a fan of knowing what you are looking for and ignoring everything else. We call that thesis based investing at USV, but it is actually more than that.
We can say that we are looking to back trusted brands that increase access to capital, wellness, and knowledge, and we do. But we do more than that. In each of those sectors, we go deeper and identify specific areas within them that we want to target. We call those “deep dives.” We identify areas we want to focus on and areas we don’t want to focus on.
All of this is a relentless effort to figure out what we are looking for and then go out and find it. It is not a static thing. It is a dynamic thing. A pandemic comes along and rocks our world. Time to revisit the thesis and the deep dives. When the pandemic ends, and it will, we will factor that into our thinking too.
In a world with so much opportunity, it pays to ignore the vast majority of it and focus on a tiny bit of it. That may seem counterintuitive, but I am certain that it is the right thing to do.