Recently at dinner I outlined a startup I was interested in to a veteran VC. He nodded and agreed the deal sounded compelling. Then he took a few steps back and punctuated his assessment. He said, “the thing you really have to ask yourself each time you do a deal is simply this—What price glory?”
That didn’t sound simple at all — it sounded cryptic as heck! Before I could ask what in the world he meant, our companions returned from the privy and the conversation rushed headlong into the Chardonnay on the table, but the words rang in my ears. What price glory?
In bed that night I Googled the elliptic phrase. What Price Glory was a play in the ‘20s remade into a film in 1952. The story centers around a Marine Srgt’s Pyrrhic victory—the costs soldiers paid in WWI. It made sense the film would have stuck with my friend, who was a child of the ‘50s and served in the U.S. Air Force.
How does it apply to deploying venture capital, though? I’ll have to get back to you.