Backing Your Dreams

So, the word leaked out yesterday.   I was really touched by all the well wishes on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you all so much.

At dinner with some of my favorite entrepreneurs I had the following exchange with Narendra Rocherolle, who, if you don’t know, you should:

N: So Mike, why are you doing this new fund thing?

M: I really want to focus on super early stage stuff.

N: Yeah, but why?

M: Well, that is what I really love. When I get up in the morning, the thing that really charges me up is getting to hang with young, hungry and passionate entrepreneurs — batting ideas around, strategizing with them about building a business, and/or just hanging out over a beer and hearing what they are excited about.

N: Yeah, OK, we all know that, but why? Why do you get so excited about this stuff?

No one had really asked me that. Why do we love the things we do?  We went around the table — Matt, why do you love music?  Dave, why do you love the outdoors?  And so forth.

Which made me realize we don’t often step back to examine why we have the motivations we do.  Why do we have the likes and dislikes we do?  Why are we passionate about the things we love?

Getting back to the question at hand:  I had to think for a few minutes, but then  I responded to Narendra that I think my passion for the super early stage lies in the fact that I am getting to back entrepreneurs’ dreams.  Special entrepreneurs always have a dream — not just the product they are building, but what it is they ultimately will build, the company, the culture, the organization; how they are going to impact peoples’ lives;  how they are going to change the world.  Talented people who are inspired by a dream are, themselves, inspiring.  And getting to help them achieve their dreams is inspiring.  And that is why I love what I do.

I look forward to backing many more dreams, and helping (some of) them becoming realities.

10 thoughts on “Backing Your Dreams”

  1. Charlie Munger (Buffet partner) advises – always ask why? very instructive. I think people like early stage to some degree because they are frustrated creatives themselves (I know I am) – and you can have influence and help steer a vision at an early stage. Later – you are going through 409A valuations.

  2. I had a similar experience where I was challenged to describe what drives me. I was to put the description in the form of a personal quote. It was a challenging but valuable exercise that helped me to clarify why I love to work with entrepreneurs and why I find being an entrepreneur so satisfying. Here’s the quote:

    “There is joy for all involved in transforming what is merely a good idea into a powerful reality”.

    I encourage you to try this exercise, too. It’s quite rewarding.
    -Christina

  3. Interesting, Mike. But I was expecting something a little more deep about why you *really* like working with early stage companies. Is there some dream of yours you didn’t follow through on that makes you want to regain that in working with young bright entrepreneurs? For example. Or maybe you’re like me and are just a little too old and have just a little too much responsibility with a young family to really live and thrive no-holds-barred in a startup again, so the closest you can get is through advising, experiencing the challenges through their eyes and helping them set their own lightbulbs off on big picture ideas. I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms until I read your blog post… thanks.

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