Thursday, February 28, 2013

Investing vs. Entrepreneurship

One of the questions I’ve thought a lot about over the past year is whether I consider myself more of an investor or an entrepreneur. At most tech or startup meetings that I go to, I’m usually required to identify myself as one or the other.  During the weekdays, I view myself as an investor since I work at a private equity firm where I invest in mostly growth-stage healthcare, consumer and technology companies. At nights and on the weekends, I enjoy working with early-stage healthcare startups helping out Co-Founders in any capacity that I can, which is typically focused on finance, business development and strategy given my prior work experience.

However, it wasn’t until I recently read Mastering the VC Game that I came across a good way to differentiate how I viewed these two roles. I love the following quote in the book, which nicely summarizes why I view VC and investing as a better long-term career fit for myself:

“I have found that being a VC entails a very different kind of excitement than entrepreneurship does. It offers intellectual adventure, exposure to amazing people with brilliant new ideas, and the chance to make a positive impact on the world. I have found far fewer ups and downs as a VC as compared to being an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, the emotional roller-coaster is such that the highs are very high and the lows are very low. For the VC, there’s greater emotional detachment. I don’t get to personally create products or companies or lead teams. The VC is the backer of a movie in which he never starts, but he prefers it that way. As a VC he would rather be the enabler and facilitator than the builder or onstage performer. The best VCs are people who tend to get bored working on one business at a time in an in-depth fashion. They are notorious BlackBerry addicts and because of their hyperactive minds and love for rapid, varied stimulation, have the attention span of someone suffering from attention deficit disorder.”

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