Venture Capital is a long game.
One of the miss-understood things about Venture Capital is how long 10 years actually feels vs. saying “it takes 10 years.”
I recently asked a restaurant owner what the secret to his success was, and his answer was perfect:
“It’s a lifestyle, not a job.”
And just after he said this, he went and got a napkin to stop our table from rocking. I hadn’t even noticed the rocking.
That’s how I’ve always felt about investing in startups, I never had the right words for it, but it’s my lifestyle. When I wake up, it’s what I think about. When I go to sleep it’s what I think about. When a founder calls, I’m on the call. When a founder needs something I figure out how to help out. When I identify under-valued, raw talent, my energy level rises by 5000%. Boost VC is a never ending system to build, and brick by brick we keep building.
There are a lot of investors starting their career right now, because the barriers to enter the market have dissolved. I’m incredibly excited about this progression because that means more money for founders, but I also think it’s an important to point out that it takes a long time to realize the success in the market.
I’m 10 years in, I’ve made the wrong choice countless times, but because I’m in the right market, I’ve failed upward. Boost VC was finally able to return an entire fund of capital to LPs this year and I can’t describe the weight off my shoulders. In that fund, we had accepted money from my cousin, my aunt, my grandfather, my Dad, two institutions and 40+ other investors… and we got to pay them all back!! Plus a bit :)
I think people like Fred Wilson or my Dad, Tim Draper, are even more impressive because of their 30+ year investment into venture capital. Venture Capital is a lifestyle, if you don’t look at it that way you won’t feel that you are making progress. If you do feel that way, you will have more fun than everyone else around the table!
I’m a decade into this lifestyle. I’m still learning every day.