Sam Altman spends three minutes at the beginning of this talk outlining why people who invest enjoy it.
The reasons he outlines resonate deeply. Despite being a job primarily about saying no, there is nonetheless some magic about being an early stage investor.
Every single day is interesting.
The people you spend most of your time with are energetic, and that’s energising.
Founders are optimistic about the future and that optimism is infectious.
Many early stage founders have the inexperience and naivety to try things others won’t — and that’s refreshing.
You get to spend a lot of time with people who are trying to shape the future.
You can work on multiple things at once — at Blackbird we work alongside companies building businesses in culture, bug bounties, safety, rockets, satellites, LIDARs, self-driving robots, heavy machinery, mining… the breadth is extraordinary.
At worst you lose 1x your money. But each company has the potential to make you 1000x or more. That possibility is addicting.
EMILY: Early Money Is Like Yeast. It helps raise the dough. And founders never forget the early help people give them when all they have is an idea and some belief. Being able to have that small positive impact on their journey is deeply gratifying.
It is a humbling job. You are wrong more than you are right. That forces you to acknowledge your limitations and inspires you to get better. And that learning to get better is the best part about it.
Finally, there is a clear scorecard for your work. Either you fund companies that go on to be great or you don’t. And if you don’t then you have to find something else to do. That’s the best kind of performance pressure.
Investing is a job that surrounds you with people to learn from, it’s something you can spend a lifetime on and never master and it moves so quickly that you are constantly running to catch up.
For the most part, it feels simultaneously like work and play.