The truth about venture capital? Far from being the sunshine-y business of annointing the Next Big Thing and then standing back and cashing the checks as they roll in, for most participants it is a dreary, thankless occupation.
Consider: Most VCs spend the bulk of their time sorting through dross trying to find something — anything — worth investing in. Imagine endless pitches from people who would never get so much as a meeting from a first-tier fund. Imagine scraping to find someone who has anything approaching a success pedigree.
And then there’s Mike Moritz. The expat Brit and uber-investor at Sequoia Capital has the box when it comes to high-concept (okay, and low-concept) venture investing. He has famously made something like a billion off the Google IPO, but that comes only after assorted other investments you may have heard of, like Yahoo, for example.
He has every right to be among the happiest investors going — what’s not to like about being wealthy, feted, and at the epicenter of all the interesting deal flow? — and that is what he is, happy. But being cheery doesn’t mean that he is ready to call it quits. Consider his comments in an interesting interview in the Telegraph of London:
Moritz says his decisions are part instinct, part analysis.
“It’s a perpetual test of your mettle because it doesn’t matter about all the investment successes you might have had yesterday, it’s about the climb up the next peak.”