I just returned from a fundraising road trip.
1 key learning
“So Ankur, what do you think of this player xxx?”
“I think highly of them, but they are not in the same space”
“But they can get into the space”
“Yes they can, but they won’t”
“But what if they do. They can get into anything, given the wave they are riding”
“I hear you, but I don’t share your enthusiasm”
“It’s not enthusiasm. It’s fear”
Most investors are scared.
Scared of competition
Scared of someone else with deeper pockets
Scared of how fast technology is changing
Scared of what if this doesn’t scale, this doesn’t become big
Scared of what they cannot understand
This fear isn’t without basis – I admit, but to me the pervasiveness of this emotion was striking.
These are people who are betting other people’s money in the hope of a return.
Fear cannot be the foundation of this.
That’s when it was evident – the investors with the Midas touch and the ones with not – is simple to explain.
Investors that invest on the basis of fear will remain in the business of entering and exiting businesses.
Investors that invest on hope, on courage, on first principles will build institutions along with the entrepreneur.
And if we are lucky, we will partner with hope and not fear.