June 20, 2019

My reminder to see with fresh eyes

My reminder to see with fresh eyes

1/ Since starting at Hyde Park Venture Partners three years ago, I’ve learned a lot and come a long way.

I’ve learned which methods for sourcing, networking, and operating seem to be most effective for me.

But while becoming more and more proficient, I’ve experimented less and less.

2/ We recently onboarded Allison Weil who took on the title of “newest” investor at Hyde Park. I’m reminded of how difficult it is to start from scratch in venture (this job is unlike any other).

3/ At the same time, I’m reminded of how valuable it can be to have a pair of “fresh eyes.” They identify new sources, build distinct networks, and turn stones overlooked.

4/Fresh eyes see an inflection point approaching where stale eyes think “it’s taking too darn long.”

5/ “Fresh eyes” can provide a unique and even contrarian perspective. How do we combine this perspective with the lessons and learnings developed through years of experience?

6/ Engage in informed experimentation. We learned the scientific method in grade school for a reason — make intentional deviations from proven methods so that we, as investors, can reap the benefits of a fresh perspective.

7/ Challenge assumptions…

  • If I couldn’t do what I’m doing now, what would I try?
  • If I approached this for the first time today, what would I do?
  • What would my successor do?

8/ I’d be remiss not to mention that if, as an industry, we did this more often, we’d see faster shifts in how we allocate capital. As we challenge assumptions, more $ will flow where it historically has not — to companies led by diverse founders and those built between the coasts.