The dilemma you point out is very Simon Simek-like..what is your Why?
And that has to be answered by both the entrepreneurs AND investors.
To date, those that wanted to be entrepreneurs needed to build something that was fundable, and the financing ecosystem has been driven in large part by the VC model (most angel groups, AngelList, etc., fashion themselves ‘business angels’….or vc-wannabes) — Team, size of market, speed to revenue/liquidity event.
When you look at the Impact investing space, and the trillions of $’s lining up behind the space (yes, trillions…per GapGemini report), the ‘Why’ of what will be funded will shift.
Even BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world with over $4 trillion under management, recently reduced their investment/headcount in their public securities division and accelerated their investment in the Impact division.
As these existing trends play out, the app/hoodie crowd will find themselves frustrated at the slowing funding, and the ‘vc wannabes’, and marginal vcs’ agendas will become more transparent — and passe’.
And the good news will be that those wanting to tackle worthy (and likely big/hard) problems will find folks lining up behind them, as long as they approach these big/hard problems as capitalists/entrepreneurs, not non-profits in entrepreneurs’ clothing.
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest of all time, not because he was the biggest or fastest, but as he said because ‘he just knew where the hockey puck was going to be’.
It is not hard to see that is where entrepreneurism/entrepreneurial funding hockey puck is going.
It will be fun to watch the puck go by those unaware of that trajectory, or unwilling to change direction and/or catch up.