Tim Draper is the kind of Venture Capitalist and human that makes you leave a conversation, thinking
‘Damn, I want that guy as an investor in my Company’.
After being pitched the ‘big picture’, beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, and he can visualize the infinite potential of a good idea, what Tim looks for when investing is the Passionate Entrepreneur.
The Entrepreneur needs to burst with a burning desire about why this needs to be done (beyond monetary gains).
Has the Entrepreneur got the ability to enthuse, engage and inspire both the investors and his team to join him on his journey.
All too often, the VC partner invests, and although he or she may have huge value to add, all to often a crummy associate is placed as the new CEO. The Entrepreneur is thrown out along with prospects for the future of the company.
As companies transform products and services according to marketplace demands, it is all about an entrepreneurial burst of ‘why’ behind this ‘big idea’.
‘If this happens, if this keeps going, then what…’
The body of the company grows with the entrepreneur beating as the heart centre. All great enterprises have felt the pulse of an entrepreneur from the very beginning. VC firms should reject any risky disruption to their flesh and blood, throwing out any powerful ‘distraction’ of an Entrepreneur with a vision.
What's been your biggest mistake?
The biggest mistake - says Tim, was not making the seed investment in Google when Sergei came to pitch, because they 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.
Likewise, there is limited growth potential in this mindset of failing to act, not pushing through. The policy of a successful Venture Capital firm is entrenched in failure: otherwise you are not pushing it.
“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" - and we should be pushing the envelope further.”
What are you looking to invest in?
We are looking at Marketplaces, as we create new industries with new technology that will improve efficiencies bring down costs and increase customer service .
Uber, Aurtasker, my recruitment plus, Airbnb and Bitcoin.
Industries with high costs and poor customer service will be need to be rewired for efficiency. Industries such as Government, banking, VC and Healthcare. How will technologies such as Bitcoin and blockchain disrupt them?
New technology comes in like a wave, and everything is affected - we should not resist these changes despite the apparent disruption.
There was a high mortality rate of companies that resisted adapting to the Internet.
The secret is about finding and investing in ‘the new Internet’, whatever this technology may be, to disrupt markets and envision where will you be in 5 years, 10 years and 15 years out. How will your technology change the world?
Examples of disruptive technologies
Computer, mobile, email, Internet, Social Media, Bitcoin, Blockchain?
Companies taking advantage
Intel, IBM, Microsoft, hotmail, google, Facebook .... wh
Where do you invest?
The hub is no more 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. That is why I am so excited about expanding the Draper Network.