As the youth and high school football season winds down, and I await a response on my application to Spear Head, I've been starting to think a lot more about how I plan to increase my Angel Investing activity over the next year or two.
One thing I've been thinking about is the fact that most people invest in the things they already know and/or believe in (you don't really convince someone to invest, it's more common that you invite them into an opportunity that aligns with some pre-existing belief or theory they already have).
In my case, I've written about some of my own ideals, principles, and many other things I already believe or think I think (including some basic thoughts on What makes a good project?)...and there are probably a ton more that I haven't even written about yet, but that I'm already pre-dispositioned to agree/align with.
In taking a step further, I think sports, e-sports, and ad tech companies are probably my real sweet spot (with a bit of a b2b bias when/where possible). And of course they should be software driven (& data focused) approaches to whatever they are doing.
Those are just the things/areas I've got the most experience, comfort, and passion for — though they are not the only things I would potentially invest in (I'm still excited about the crypto space & I have a lot of strong thoughts on education as two examples of other areas I would be happy to engage in).
So while I don't specifically have a 'thesis driven approach' completely formed, I think I kind of have a 'vertical focus' in mind to get started.
I have also been thinking a lot about just how I'm going to ramp up my actual investing efforts...since I'm still actively helping to build and scale Veritonic & trying to get Share Game Tape off the ground, time is my most limited resource.
And since I don't know a shortcut for the numbers game around the networking and deal flow side of investing (# of pitches you see vs. # you actually invest in)...I'll need to get into as many early conversations and opportunities as I can (and each of those will take some time).
Which means the best way to scale this is probably going to require me getting REALLY good at cutting through the noise. Learning to dig into an opportunity quickly...and so it's this recent line of thought in my head that lead me to Tweet this out earlier today:
Some other key questions I always want ACTUALLY answered when being pitched:
What is it? Who is it for? Why do they love it? What will they pay? Why do you have an unfair advantage in making this work? How do you scale it?
(yes, that last one is the same one @ceonyc was asking) https://t.co/eQFbjL5f8W
— Kevin Marshall (@falicon) November 6, 2019
Is it a complete set of questions I would ask? No.
It might not even be the exact set of questions I will ask every time. But it's a start to how I am thinking about ways to efficiently scale my own efforts over the next year or so.
The fun part will be in seeing what I learn through this next year, how all of my thinking evolves, and where it will all lead me.
Only time will tell.
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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