There’s no question that the difference between the goals of venture capital investors (who invest money in private startup companies) and individual investors (who invest in public companies on the stock market) is huge.
But when it comes down to it, we’re both investing in businesses. We’re both investing in management teams. We’re both investing in ideas. The results, though, are far from the same. The vast majority of VC investments result in successful exits… that means that the companies they invested in were either bought by bigger companies or went public through an IPO – either way, the VC investors make money the vast majority of the time (think Google for instance).
Is the same true of your portfolio? If not, is it because you’re not looking for the right stuff? On the American Express OPEN blog, Venture Capitalist Guy Kawasaki (a cool guy who I interviewed here) outlines what he looks for in investments for Garage Ventures, his VC firm. The verdict – look for realness, traction, cleanliness, forthrightness, and enemies. For the rundown on what that all means, visit the post here or his blog here.