To All The Batmen & Catwomen, The Great Founders Who Shine In The Shadow & Darkness.
In the venture capital world, rumours about companies and founders spread at a pretty fast pace through the grapevine. Of course, the ones about our portfolio companies make me angry and I tend to fiercely defend them, even though I know it’s a waste of energy and a misuse of my time. In addition, some of them appear to be partially true and one can’t blame the market for loving unverified and biased gossips.
The real & true stories always end up being told afterwards whatever the outputs so it doesn’t really matter what people think about you at a certain point as long as your learning and execution curve, compound with your emotional intelligence, remain on the right path.
From my perspective and very little experience, the best companies of my portfolio are the discreet ones. It doesn’t mean they go hide in a cave but they avoid distractions by keeping a low or selective social profile, by declining politely invitations and requests from too many events, journalists and investors. They keep their head clear by staying true to themselves and focusing on what really matter: their users and customers first, their people and organisation, their product and tech, their business model and go to market.
And this is especially true and crucial when they get tickled by market whisperings or hit by the hard truth of building and conducting a company. The market whisperings go from the perceptions and stories that float around the competitive landscape to the false impressions perceived through certain events linked to big names & numbers. The hard truth goes anywhere from struggling to recruit to hitting a glass ceiling through dozens of other challenges that pave the way of every single company.
As an investor, a support, a close friend of the founders we’ve backed, and as much as our job is to shape a self-fulfilling prophecy through capital, altruism and network, it is also our duty not to let ourselves trapped into this great front-facing act. We must work in the back of the scene to help our entrepreneurs understand that in the shadow of the market shines the real truth about building a long lasting meaningful business and that in the darkness of the most difficult struggling events they will reveal themselves for the worst but hopefully for the better.
Go Batman ! Go Catwoman !
Alfred has your back :)