Posts from September 2021

Large Group In-Person Meetings

I have been doing a bunch of large group in-person meetings in the last few weeks and I must say that it feels great to be doing these large group meetings in person. There is a different energy in the room than on the screen.

In order to make everyone comfortable meeting like this, the way these meetings typically happen is everyone provides a proof of vaccination and everyone gets a covid test within 24 hours of the meeting. It is best if the host of the meeting can provide rapid tests so anyone who wants to arrive in advance of the meeting can get tested right there.

It is also the case that in each of the large in-person group meetings I have done in the last few weeks, there have been a few folks on video. I think that is likely to be the new normal for large meetings and it really helps to have great audio and video in the room so the people on the screen feel as much like they are in the room as possible.

But I must say that I am very happy and very relieved to be meeting in person again in large groups. I missed it a lot and I am glad to be back doing it.

#Current Affairs

Generalist vs Specialist

At USV, we have a fairly narrow thesis that sets out what we want to invest in, but all of us work across all of our thesis areas. We see ourselves as generalists not specialists.

In an environment when everything is moving so fast, that can be challenging, as I wrote about on Tuesday.

But there are also great benefits to working this way. As a team, we benefit from working together on everything versus having silos within our partnership and firm.

And as individuals, there is something quite helpful about moving back and forth between domains. It stimulates the mind in ways that going deep and staying deep on one thing cannot.

There are many ways to build a successful investment business. Specializing in a specific domain works well for many firms.

But I personally prefer being a generalist. Being able to meet founders in multiple different sectors back to back to back is really something special. It challenges and opens the mind in a way that really works for me.

#VC & Technology

Staying Plugged In

I wrote in my 60th birthday post that my late career mantra is less hustle more conviction. It has been working for me and has kept me in the game.

But there are times, usually after an opening emerges, when a market moves so fast it is hard to stay on top of it all.

I don’t worry about missing out. That’s part of the venture capital business. Fear of missing out is a counterproductive emotion and I refuse to engage in it.

But I do worry about not understanding what is going on. When you stop understanding things, you are done. There is no way to be a great investor if you have no clue.

It is possible to surround yourself with others who can help you understand what is going on. I do that and I have terrific colleagues who keep me engaged in what’s happening. These colleagues are inside USV and also spread around many other firms too.

But at some level, you have to understand things yourself. Osmosis only works to a point. I find that you have to get your hands on the technology, use it, and feel it to understand it.

And that is the hard part when things go bananas as a market opens up. Less hustle works against you. And you have to find a way to engage in it all. That’s where I am right now.

#crypto#VC & Technology