Have had my own humble share of fund raising, shake the hands of investors from China, US and Australia, the following article left a deep impression on me. For anyone who is raising capital, please keep this one in mind. To be fair, the most successful investors start out as entrepreneurs, like Ben Horowitz, Mark Anderson. But there are also non-trivial pencentage of investors who just haven’t done it before. When they give advices, I frown.
In the context of startups, it’s convenient to read the Picasso quote as a tidy summarization of the difference between critics (VCs and the tech press) and practitioners (entrepreneurs). There is some truth to this. When entrepreneurs get together, they tend to talk about tactical details. VCs and the press talk about trends, markets, and other abstractions.
But Picasso was just being modest. He thought about the meaning of his art far more deeply than his critics did. The same is true of great entrepreneurs. “Cheap turpentine” is important, but so is “Form and Structure and Meaning”. The best ideas emerge from the interplay between the two modes of thought.