Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market
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The Secret Ingredient to Being a Great VC | OpenView Blog

The Secret Ingredient to Being a Great VC | OpenView Blog | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
A lot of people want to know if there's a secret to being a great VC. I actually do believe there is a silver bullet, but it’s not based on educational background, work experience, or reading material. It’s something softer and more innate.A lot of people ask me what it takes to be successful as a VC. I hear it from peers and from candidates interviewing to work at OpenView. People want to know the secret “pro tip” for aspiring or newly-minted VCs that will guarantee their success. In today’s lifehack-glorifying world, it’s not surprising to me that people are looking a career Game Genie. Do I need an MBA? Do I need to be an “operator” first, by working at or founding a startup? Or do I need to be an investment banker first? What books should I read? What blogs should I read? Should I take a class on financial modeling? Do I need to learn to code? How should I manage my time as a VC analyst or associate? Is the secret being “first to arrive, last to leave” in my office? While these are all good questions, I don’t see any of these things as the silver bullet. You could do all these things and not succeed. You could do none of these things and achieve wild success. I actually do believe there is a silver bullet. It’s not based on educational background, work experience, or reading material. It’s something softer and more innate – I call it intellectual curiosity. It can be summed up in one word: “why”. To me, “why” means “say more” or “help me understand.” It’s built on a foundation of healthy skepticism, cautious optimism, data-driven problem solving, and continuous improvement. Brad Feld calls people locked and loaded with this silver bullet “learning machines”. The Secret Ingredient to Being a Great VC (or Entrepreneur): Intellectual Curiosity Intellectual curiosity doesn’t accept things at face value. If someone boldly claims, “The rising craft coffee trend is going to kill Starbucks, and Blue Bottle is leading the pack,” the intellectually curious person doesn’t just say, “Oh cool. I like Blue Bottle. I read that article about them recently.” Their response instead looks more like a series of rapid-fire questions: Why is Starbucks so broken? What do players in the “craft coffee” set do differently compared to Starbucks? When and where did the craft coffee trend start? Who are the leading players today? Where are they from and what is each one known for? You like Blue Bottle — why is it objectively superior to Stumptown or Intelligentsia or Philz or La Colombe or the next upstart roaster/shop? Will anyone except urban hipsters ever care enough for this trend to go mainstream? And so on. This kind of intellectually curious knee-jerk reaction can appear to border on incredulity, but really it’s just a passionate desire to gather, catalogue, and understand data and its relationship to other data. Reid Hoffman calls the strategy “follow up and probe” in his book, The Start-Up of You. He says that entrepreneurially-wired people (regardless of vocation) have a “mind on fire” that brims with curiosity. How does this translate to being a VC? For starters, much of a VC’s time is spent meeting with people who all make big, hairy, heavily-biased claims. It is the VC’s job to discern between which claims are valid and which are bogus. Taking everyone at face value is recipe for disaster — competitors bash their rivals, startups minimize the threat of an incumbent, executives inflate their departments’ achievements, and customers can be over-eager early adopters on one hand or stubborn hold-outs on the other. You can’t trust anyone! Or at least you can’t give them the benefit of the doubt. You must ask “why” over and over until you have enough dots to connect. I’m starting to think that maybe the best feeder program for VC may be the FBI or the CIA. Seriously. A good agent has to talk to everyone, turn over every stone, cultivate valuable but potentially resistant informants, connect previously unconnected dots, maintain a healthy skepticism, and ultimately put together a compelling & actionable case amid very high stakes. Do you want to become a VC or are you looking for tips on how to succeed as a VC? Start asking “Why?” My colleague Baiyin Zhou wrote a great post with recommendations for folks trying to break into venture capital, which embodies intellectual curiosity. Or you could always join the FBI… About the Author: Blake Bartlett is a Vice President at OpenView. Prior to joining, he was a Vice President at Battery Ventures, where he focused on growth-stage software and Internet businesses. Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km
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Amazon.com: Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle eBook: Dan Senor, Saul Singer: Kindle Store

Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle - Kindle edition by Dan Senor, Saul Singer. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
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Something other Governments should consider...
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Six Principles Underlying Hiring Great Team Members for Your Business

Six Principles Underlying Hiring Great Team Members for Your Business | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it

Via Daniel Watson
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Cathy Matthews's curator insight, March 21, 2014 9:56 AM

Your business team is like family and should be treated with dignity and respect. Your team, if focused on obtaining a common goal and proud (not to mention excited) to come to work each day, is what makes an organization successful. This is accomplished through defined goals, clear strategy, clear communication, and working well with others. As my dad used to say (a very successful businessman who worked his way to President of his company), there are 3 rules to live by in the business world: 1. Love what you do; 2. Love the people you work with; 3. Love yourself.

Jill Miller, SPHR's curator insight, March 21, 2014 3:37 PM

Hold to your principles when hiring and managing to get and keep great people.

Jeremy Barton's curator insight, March 24, 2014 4:56 AM

Employing the right people first time round, what a win.

 

The interaction, trust and camaraderie of your teams can make or break your business.

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Keeping Your Cool On The Startup Rollercoaster - Forbes

Keeping Your Cool On The Startup Rollercoaster - Forbes | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
Keeping Your Cool On The Startup Rollercoaster Forbes As captain of the startup rollercoaster, you must manage your company's mood swings, while doing your best to not puke (at least not while your team is watching).
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Every entrepreneur can associate with this...
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SEED OF WISDOM

SEED OF WISDOM | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” ~ Lao Tzu (To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.
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Rescooped by Marius Joubert from Miscellaneous Topics
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Mexico draws over $7 billion in foreign investment at Davos

Mexico draws over $7 billion in foreign investment at Davos | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Pepsico, Nestle and Cisco on Friday announced major investments that together totaled more than $7 billion in Mexico, where the government has pushed through a series of...

Via David Simpson
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Imagine for a moment governments in all the key emerging market economies manage to do the same and then.. what the economic impact would be on the developing world... 

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Discussing venture capital and entrepreneurship in Angola

Discussing venture capital and entrepreneurship in Angola | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
"Things are improving in the country but the change will not happen overnight."
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Confucius Quotes : Sources of Insight

Confucius Quotes : Sources of Insight | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
This is a collection of Confucius quotes to put his wisdom at your finger tips. Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher with a knack for nailing some big ideas for life.
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10 Tips for Making Your Startup A Success

10 Tips for Making Your Startup A Success | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
Here are 10 practical tips - covering recruitment, business plans, pricing, marketing and more -- for making your startup a startup success story.

Via The Fish Firm
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China's Capital Idea - Foreign Policy

China's Capital Idea - Foreign Policy | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
China's Capital Idea Foreign Policy She would almost certainly not think the dusty town in northern Hebei province, one best known for its donkey meat burgers, looked like a candidate for China's next capital.
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The Secret of Start-up Funding that No One Wants to Talk About - Cynthia Kocialski

The Secret of Start-up Funding that No One Wants to Talk About - Cynthia Kocialski | Entrepreneurial enablement in the emerging market | Scoop.it
There are thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs and there’s one secret that many entrepreneurs don’t know. Find out how the hush-hush topic of profiling affects your chances on being an entrepreneur.
Marius Joubert's insight:
Investors always have a focus and mandate with a range of investment criteria including industry, size, geography and a range of criteria for the entrepreneur. They call it risk analyses... But the challenge for entrepreneurs is that they wont know this until they start knocking on doors... Never getting feedback why they can't get access to investment capital.
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