I was asked by a reporter yesterday what are some of the things I most fear. When I was a child, my nightmares were that I would show up at school naked; thankfully now I usually remember to get dressed before leaving the house. But the discussion yesterday started me thinking about what are some of the things I most worry about now. A partial list is below…
• I dread the late Friday afternoon call from one my CEO’s…”Something has come up – do you have a few minutes?”
• I worry about all of the things out of my control with any of our portfolio companies. For instance, after I fund a hot new start-up, will a dozen “look alike” companies get funded within days after the first board meeting?
• I fear that some awkward revelation comes to light regarding someone we backed – and that we did not uncover it in diligence. I backed a spectacular executive in the mid-1990’s who was never able to discuss what he did in the ‘70’s – my suspicion is that he worked in some sort of covert operations in a tough part of the world.
• I am scared that LP’s (investors in venture funds) tell the venture industry that from this day forward we have to be “self-funding,” that is, VC funds can only raise as much money as they distribute. Through much of the 2000’s the VC industry raised around $30 billion per year; last year it raised less than half of that amount but undoubtedly still more than VC’s distributed in aggregate.
• I fear that somehow this stops becoming one of the best jobs in Boston – but I am not really sure how that could happen.
• Oh, and I am still afraid of heights. Really afraid.
What are your deepest darkest fears? And please try to keep it PG-rated!