In early stage deep tech venture, ‘writing a cheque’ is the easy part

When David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss decided to make a TV series out of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, that was the easy part.

The rest of it was a 10 year journey raising money, recruiting the team, flying dragons, securing distribution, pouring molten gold on people’s heads, marketing…

The job of selection in early stage deep tech venture is also the ‘easy part’.

The investment decision SHOULD be the easy part

There isn’t that much to assess in the track record of the company because it doesn’t have one yet. Probably no revenue. Low technology readiness. Tiny team. Certainly nothing predictable.

The decision to commit is as much art as science — as much gut-feel as it is analysis.

It is easy to over think the decision to invest as though the facts are in there somewhere when they usually are not. Founders are frustrated by investors who take months to decide and then don’t help.

We need to decide quickly then get to work.

Knowing that the investment decision is the ‘easy part’ applies the necessary weight to the decision

Next is 10 years or more of hard work. At least it should be.

As investors, we are in the arena. Not as deeply as the founders, but we have added one more company to occupy our minds. 10 years of working with the founders, crisis meetings, recruiting, storytelling, building, raising capital, building connections.

For me it is a constant loop. I know this is coming before I decide.

Perhaps this is more powerful than a 50 page investment memo.

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