What Things Should A Person Know To Be A VC?

What VCs need more of is the imagination of foresight, not more regurgitation of hindsight.

Having been a judge at VCIC, a part-time venture partner hobnobbing on Sand Hill Road, and witnessing the subpriming of VC unfold in front of me, the main thing a VC should know, and we do not have enough of, is how to spot an outlier ready and able to change the world for the better.

So, it is not the knowledge of a deal construct that matters as much as having the imagination to align with the unprecedented foresight of an entrepreneur to break the norm. Breaking the norm from a new and higher normalization of truth is what the pursuit of prime innovation is all about. No excellence in constructing a deal will make you better at spotting prime.

You should, therefore, focus less on deal mechanics you can quickly toss over the fence to an experienced attorney, and you should instead focus on using your imagination of how the world should work, rather than does today.

Imagination cannot be bought or taught (not at the age of VC anyway). So, having a fund will not make you a great venture capital investor as we witness from the failure rate of so many VCs unable to develop a viable thesis that determines what can be discovered (Einstein). Remember, none of the VCs supported Tesla until it ballooned in their rearview mirror.

Imagination needed to spot outliers requires a critical mind embracing a vehement dissent from normalcy — a reason why you will not find a great VC at the many flea-markets of innovation.


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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