Bill Maris from Google Ventures recently did an interview that was posted in the WSJ Venture Dispatch. It was a forward-looking piece focusing on what lies ahead in 2012 for the venture community. While a variety of topics were touched upon, a few in particular really mesh well with OpenView’s mentality and aspirations as we scour the landscape for the next addition to our portfolio.
When asked about issues facing the venture industry as we head into 2012, Bill has a direct, straight forward answer: it is crucial that we know “how to find and partner with the entrepreneurs who will create the most impactful business in the years to come.” If it were an easy task, every venture fund would be hitting a home run with every check they write, but there is an art to the process and a lot of legwork to be done at the outset.
Bill also alludes to the need to identify those entrepreneurs that are committed to building something big. Often times, when chatting with expansion stage CEOs, we connect with some very talented folks who have grown rather successful business to date, but the spark and hunger isn’t immediately noticeable. They may be happy with a very profitable business that allows for a comfortable lifestyle and, due a degree, a far less stressful day-to-day existence. However, at OpenView we want to see that desire to go above and beyond. These entrepreneurs immediately start asking pointed questions about how, if they were to partners with our fund, we can assist them in their goal to continually push the limit, get the most out of their resources and build something special. These types of questions are music to our ears and are proof that we are talking to the right individuals
With those type of founders on board, it then becomes a matter of executing and reaching that lofty potential.