Our Venturing Principles
Our venturing efforts are guided by a set of common sense principles:
Venture in the valley of the blind: We like markets where it is easy to make money. Competing with really smart opponents should be reserved for chess.
Simple beats sophisticated: A “three bank shot” is only good for two things: excitement and failure, which often go hand-in-hand. We keep our plans dull and doable.
Every plan is flawed: Elegant plans make good reading, but don’t survive first contact with the marketplace. An entrepreneur is someone who launches a business knowing full well that their plan is flawed, but confident that they can discover the adjustments needed to win in the market.
The best team beats the best plan, every time: We’ve found that an A plan in the hands of a C team yields poor results. In the hands of the A team, a flawed plan is quickly repaired, and great results follow.
Demand risk or supply risk, but never both: Sometimes generating demand is the hard part of a venture, sometimes it’s delivering value to customers – the supply side – that is difficult. If both generating demand and delivering value to the customer are hard, the venture is impossible.
Gross profits are cheaper than further investment capital: There are two ways to fund a venture – from capital investments or from gross profits. Gross profits are always cheaper to obtain, so sprint to cash positive.
Perfect the smallest scalable unit before expansion: Until you have a successful, scalable model of your venture you are simply still in research mode and burning very expensive capital. Once the smallest scalable unit has been demonstrated, cheaper expansion capital is available in abundance.