Venture capital is all about placing bets on the future. It requires looking for companies that will fulfill tomorrow’s needs, create new markets, and change the way we live.
There are two different ways to predict the future of business. The first is to explore current trends and their adjacent possibilities. And the second is to start from a vision of how the world could be and work backwards to discover what is needed in order to get there.
Both have merits, and there are successful venture capitalists that approach investing in each of the respective ways.
At Collaborative Fund, we’ve been challenging ourselves and our companies to feel unburdened by current limitations so that the ambition of their desired outcomes is exponentially increased. One exercise I use frequently is challenging a project lead to use a magic wand and dream up the circumstances that will mark the project’s success. This allows that person to set ambitious goals and then work backwards to determine what steps would be required to achieve them. It does not consider present obstacles – only the vision of an outcome that exists wholly separate from a current reality.
Those are the goals we want to strive for: the ones for which there is no obvious path, but the founders are so passionate and obsessed in embracing their outcomes that they will find a way to make a path exist.