Friday, February 05, 2010

VC Paradox

What does it take to get your cake and eat it too?

The other day on Seth's Blog a post on "Hunters vs. Farmers" hinted at the dilemma venture capitalists have with companies.  In short:

Only hunters can bag the deal + raise money; only farmers can nurture it into a cash crop.

For start-ups it isn't hunting and it isn't farming; its both.   Hunting is a short-term, transactional process - I don't care what the next deal is, as long as I get it.  Farming on the other hand is a planned, sustained activity over a number of seasons.  The grounds suitable for hunting are rarely the same as those good for farming.   It is very difficult for a company to both, but that is exactly what a successful start-up has to do. 

There must be some mix that reflects the rapid evolution or mutation of a company from concept to sustainable business.  Call it hurming or fanting or something else entirely (I skipped the temptation to use farting).  This is why start-ups require a team, not just an individual, that is both harmonious and distinct. 

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