What was your biggest mistake or loss?
My biggest mistake? not making the seed investment in Google when Sergei came to pitch, because we had invested in something similar. The lesson - as a VC , I would rather lose 1X my money than lose the opportunity to make 10X my money.
I expect to fail more than 50% of the time. If I do this, I am doing really well. If I don't - I need to question whether I am in "the Venture Capital Business" - we should be pushing the envelope.
What makes you invest in an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs need to have a big vision - they need to disrupt markets - where will you be in 5 years , 10 years and 15 years out . How will your technology change the world?
computer, mobile , email, internet, google, apple, bitcoin, blockchain....
Often the VC and Entrepreneur don't have the same vision or time frame - can lead to conflict.
When you are pitching - you are not only pitching for money, you are pitching for the brightest and best people - you want them to work for you.
Pitch them the big thing !!
They need to say "I want to work for that guy" - engineers want to just to have fun
The Entrepreneur needs to burst with passion - he/she needs to have this burning desire why they are doing this - it needs to be more than money. They need to enthuse, engage and inspire both the investors and his team to join him on his journey.
The Founding Entrepreneur is often the heart and soul of the enterprise. Many of the great companies have had that entrepreneur all the way.
All too often, the VC invests, and although the venture capital partner may have huge value to add, they place a crummy associate as the new CEO - throws out the entrepreneur and screws up the company - very often Its a power thing.
What are you looking to invest in ?
New technology comes in like a wave and everything is effected
Marketplaces - Uber , airbnb, airTasker - there will be 1000s of similar things - but what will make you different - passion and implementation . Knowing your why!
Find industries that have bad service and high cost, and invest in technologies that will fix it.
What markets are inefficient and expensive ?
Banking, cable, VC , government .
These will be disrupted- blockchain being the perfect ledger may be the disruptor.
Taxis, hotels, lawyers, accountants, Government's
What will transform industries and create new industries?
Where are you investing?
The hub is no more only in Silicon Valley - it is global - in fact Australia has a competitive advantage as it can test its technology in a relatively friendly marketplace before venturing offshore
Follow your dream - just do it!!!!