A few days ago I was lamenting to my friend Elie Wurtman that I still have not managed to get into a regular schedule with my new life as venture capitalist, and that one of the things suffering was this blog. Elie answered immediately: "It's Quality, Not Quantity." Elie was one the people who inspired me to start writing at all, so his comment was very important to me, and I have been giving a lot of thought to it.
Meanwhile, I continue to meet with dealflow, negotiate potential partnerships with start-ups, and try to keep up with the blistering pace of change in Web 3.0 and beyond. More and more I think we are seeing the value of Elie's comment, that quality, rather than quantity, is really what counts.
Take a look at almost any area of life, and the Quality v. Quantity rule holds (of course, there are exceptions, but as this is a family blog, leave that to you). Can we shoot for both? Yes, but focus on quality.
We are currently seeing a re-emegence of the eyeballs phenomenon of the late 90s. More is more, we are told, whether that be users, dollars invested, valuations, headcount, etc. Take a look at many blogs, and it is difficult to find the actual content, given the myriad tagging services, links, widgets and doodads pasted all over the pages. Do we really need all of that?
500 channels and nothing to watch sound familiar? Now try 5,000 or more channels available on the Web today, and it doesn't get any better. (Thus the need for Jeff Pulver's TV Guide for web television, Network2.TV).
So together with Quality over Quantity, we need to add that sometimes Less is More. And as a small fund, with limited resouces, we need to say: Show Me the Money.
Does that mean I don't want to be told about the billions....NO! I want to dream and work with dreamers, but need to see the path between here and there. Given that we are a small fund, we have the flexibility to do deals that will not be multi-billion dollar acquisitions. A 2X return for us on a $500K investment makes a difference (whereas for a mega-fund a 2x return on a $5 or $10 million investment simply is not interesting...).
In general, like my blog entries have become, we are looking for quality over quantity in our venture fund, but I also think its a good rule in general. Just think how different the world would be if there were fewer non-governmental organizations but of much higher quality. If there were fewer peace summits but real peace. And so on...
May you all be blessed with quality AND quantity!