When you listen to many dreams, they start to blend into each other, becoming increasingly more and more difficult to separate one from the other. As a venture capitalist, especially one focused on seed stage opportunities, there is usually little "reality" in the stories I hear on almost a daily basis. And on on the cynical side, yes, too often the answer to business model is "advertising." (The reality of advertising in the digital era has allowed that word to become a universal placeholder for a coherent business model).
If I were simply an industry analyst, so no big deal, let it all blend together into one big dream scape, I could then make grand statements like "in 2010 the revenues will reach five gazillion dollars from a user base of 3 billion," and everyone will be happy, like the prophets of old giving hope to downtrodden peoples. But I am not a prophet, I have real responsibilities to my investors, myself (I am on of the investors as well), and our "investees," our portfolio companies. I need to made difficult choices, place my bets, and then not leave things resting on Lady Luck, but work really hard to help Lady Luck do her job,and allow our companies to succeed in creating reality out of dreams.
After more than half a year on the job as venture capitalist, it was starting to get to me...and thank God the seasons changed. The Sun came out the other day, creating a day that was just too nice to spend sitting at a computer screen or running through powerpoint presentations. I jumped on my bike and took to the hills, and was reminded that while things look the same from quick glances, when you drill down the differences appear, and you realize that you can tell one from the other.
Every flower is the realization of many dreams, but is reality that is created from these dreams. And each one is vital.
May we blessed to recognize the uniqueness in every dream, and at least some of the time see those dreams come to life (well, for my new VC career, at least often enough to achieve a highly positive Internal Rate of Return...i.e. make money...).