Venture Optimism

I think I’ve got the fever. I woke up at 5AM on Saturday morning thinking obsessively about fundraising tips and tricks to share with my GPs. More on that later.

My spinning wheels are a reflection of my last few days in SF. Michael Kim and SVB put together a great event focused on small and emerging technology venture firms. It’s my opinion that the highly curated crowd includes some of the best investors in venture capital. The next generation that we will consider great. In addition, they are some of my favorite people in the world. Highly motivated, seeking to not only make great returns but to also use capitalism in a way that positively impacts our society. And not least they are a fun bunch of people where I’m lucky to have a number of friends. Thanks again to Michael and SVB for putting together the event and including us each year.

A few quick take-aways for me:

– I’m so happy to be focused on early stage technology. I used to invest in private markets broadly and I never would have been able to build this much context so quickly. A new level of detail surfaces when you study something closely. You begin to see patterns rather than dots.

– Venture capital is changing more than we realize. The diminished financing needs of early stage companies has meaningfully changed the risk profile of fund investments for LPs. More data on less capital should provide better risk adjusted returns.

– I couldn’t be more convinced that technology innovation will continue to disrupt traditional industries and that the rate of change is increasing. Seeing some of the early stage companies in the various portfolios is like reading good science fiction. My kids are growing up in a world far different than mine and I see technology being used for good, impactful change to the human condition.

– I believe there is a cultural and demographic transition occurring that will hasten the adoption of new technology. Digital natives are beginning to run the economy, opening enterprise and consumer to faster iteration cycles.

– Diversity of all types and backgrounds is becoming more important in tech and venture circles as the impact of technology spreads across traditional sectors. As one example, I feel confident that gender diversity has reached a tipping point that makes “girl power” a very important network in venture. Still lots of work to do but we’ve seen many more female founders in the portfolio lately and are seeing more female partners in these emerging firms.

In all the negativity around the election cycle and events around the world – it was good to be in a room full of optimistic thinkers and doers. I wanted to share my positive state of mind this morning before you put yourself back in the election funk.

Now I hear the pitter patter of small feet moving around the house and it’s time to engage with two little girls and try to subtly sway them into future coders and investors…