What Is The Reputation Of The Founders Fund As A VC Firm?

The answer depends on your span of purview.

If the fund invested in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp to name a few it would have done very well financially, but in the scope of evolutionary value to mankind it could easily be perceived as erosive to humanity.

So, as I have been preaching for many years now with regards to the often highly debatable if not deceiving role of technology companies, and now publicly reaffirmed by Larry Fink, CEO of $6 Trillion investment firm BlackRock, how we invest in humanity clearly matters. If we make money spawning innovation that fools the world, its financial arbitrage spawning such a rat-race of socioeconomic subpriming is therefore instead responsible for the accelerated atrophy of humanity — not a great reputation to hang your hat on.

Another nuance I would add to the evaluation of venture performance and the misappropriation of risk is to balance the wins (parlayed to the above) with the failures. For a failure of venture firm’s arbitrage is a double downer of success, and then some. For the failure to produce value from the chosen innovation is compounded by a failure to recognize a better one instead. The failure of a false positive very possibly also having yielded a false negative. Hence, while the portfolio play could have yielded a positive outcome from a financial perspective, the socioeconomic impact on the thesis that determines what humanity can discover (Einstein) going forward could have taken a big hit.

To make this easier to digest: if a referee in soccer blows the whistle on infractions that aren’t, you will soon have great soccer players leaving the scene. That is exactly the outcome of people too smart and too brash to fit the mold of venture capital’s subpriming. An overwhelmingly uniform arbitrage of innovation, spawning desperate monetization from producing mind-numbing advertising clicks, fixing self-induced security risk, and fabricating socioeconomic foolery, sucking the life out of outliers with a propensity to change the world.

My point is that mere money does not equate to evolutionary merit. More on that in The (first ever) State of Venture Capital released in 2010, still valid as ever today.

Founders Fund appears to stray from the mold in Silicon Valley with a focus on changing the world. For the better, we have yet to witness. The problems we humans face that need resolving are related to how we take ourselves on, not how we escape our manmade wrath with an ingenious suspension of our own evolutionary responsibility, unnatural modifications to our biology, or flying into space.

The sign of an intelligent nation is its willingness and ability to reinvent itself, upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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