One of my favorite VCs, FundersClub*, has a cool tagline — Fund The Future.
But is that what startup investors really do?
Technically, yes. But what we’re really doing is just funding the immediate future.
What I mean is this -
The investors I know want to invest in the future around the corner, not 4 years from now.
That said, if you have a clear path to at least making something some folks love (if not monetization) then many investors will fund you.
We’ll fund you so you can get profitable doing X — what some love right now — while you chip away at Y (the big vision 4 years out).
But X should clearly be a stepping stone to Y.
It’s a bit like investing in Google.
Google is an online direct marketing ad agency. That’s how it makes money. But it does other things that are cool, including stuff that is further out in the future - like driverless cars — and stuff that’s maybe just around the corner — like Google Shopping Express (which I predict will include perishables by 2016).
* FundersClub is an online VC that graduated from Y Combinator in the summer of 2012. I am the FundersClub ambassador to L.A. and an investment panelist.