The Slowest VC in the World Hates Consumer, Loves Enterprise

A venture capitalist I met recently is, I think,  the slowest VC in the world. He/she/it is decent, nice, and well-intentioned, but, by their own sort-of confession, absurdly slow at picking up shifts in the investing landscape.

For example, they only caught onto the consumer wave two years ago — This Facebook thing is going to be huge! Conversations about all sorts of technology commonplace, from flash sales, to tablets, to Twitter, mostly come as revelations, which makes for highly amusing discussion, the sorts of thing you generally only hear in La Jolla Starbucks lines.

It’s not that they’re so slow that they don’t make money. That’s naturally self-limiting. It’s just that they seem to only show up when the risk is coming off, and it’s fairly obvious that the change is already here.

Anyway, the slowest VC in the world announced to me recently that he/she/it is over the consumer thing (that they only recently discovered). They pointed to all the incubators everywhere all doing consumer stuff, all the Facebook of XYZ clones, and said, in that inimitable I-bet-I’m-first-to-think-of-this way of theirs, “I’m done with consumer investing”. They expanded, “It’s now all enterprise. We’re only interested in deals that take consumer & social technologies into business”.

There you have it then. The slowest VC in the world has figured out something that has only been obvious for years. Let the enterprise social over-fundings begin.

Related posts:

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  2. RiteAid, Queuing Theory, and the Law of the Slowest Line
  3. What Does It All Mean For Average Consumer? Nothing
  4. Has RIM Crossed the Consumer Chasm?
  5. Consumer Electronics & CES: Fade the Nerds!?

Comments

  1. @csertoglu says:

    @pkedrosky, ironically the slowest VC in the world ends up profiting via this approach, typically based on fund vintage.

  2. rcyran says:

    I guess it depend on how slow the slowest VC is. Assuming tech follows the usual hype/revulsion/acceptance cycle, then it may be highly profitable to catch on to trends after they've peaked. (which is what you seem to be saying when you mention that they make money). If he's as slow as you indicate, then aren't the overfundings in enterprise already done?

    I've always suspected VCs act a bit like ad agencies – clients trust them because they want a bit of hipness in their boring portfolios. Problem is, the really hip people don't go into advertising (or the technologically gifted go to work as VCs). So clients are buying the perception of cool – and the creatives at ad agencies play up to by latching onto whatever trend is hot that month among their peers. The best ad agencies are just slightly ahead, but not too much (like William Gibson's Hubertus Bigend)

    Perhaps this is a good rule – only invest in VCs who unintentionally dress like hipsters (because they are so late in latching onto trends).