Lately, I have been spending a lot of time reading a lot of VC blogs to get some inspiration in terms of company selection, particularly Packy McCormick’s “Not Boring Capital” blog. Many say the importance of founder-market fit, traditional traits like grit, signs of traction and startup experience. Some will even go further and ask if a business idea has potential network effects, or solid unit economics. Which leads me to wonder: what else can Horizan VC do to find overlooked founders? How can we utilise the concept of underrated traits to invest in potentially successful people that other VCs won’t even touch, and subsequently prove out our return profile even greater? So here are some ideas I came with:
- Does a founder regularly set goals and commit to achieving them in the timeline he/she said?
- How often is this founder late to meetings?
- Does this founder flake a lot?
- How organised is his/her workflow?
- How efficient is this founder on a day to day basis? Does he/she waste a lot of time, or pursue ineffective work methods?
- Does this founder regularly commit to finding ways to improve his/her weaknesses?
- Does the founder have the ability to execute healthy leadership?
- Does the founder have enough emotional intelligence to rally each of his/her potential future employees, communicating with each of them in a unique way suited to his/her personality?
- Can a founder balance the line between empathy and not taking excuses, curating a warm yet high-standard workplace?
- Does the founder understand the balance between controlling something and letting go?
- Does a founder know how to take care of his/her body and mental health on a regular basis?
- Does he/she make a regular commitment (not saying he/she has to be perfect) to eating healthily, getting regular exercise, spending quality time with quality people and getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night?
- Is he/she on the path to burnout, or working in such a manner that is efficient yet sustainable?
Conversational details (only during interview)
- Does this person speak in terms of “we” or “I?” (I is generally much better in this case)
- Can this person delve into the details of their accomplishments? (eg. can barely articulate the reason behind doing a good job on their FB ads)
- Does this person’s history show an ability to overcome adversity or working hard to achieve something? (eg. playing high-level sports)
- Is this person gritty? Does he/she find ways to make many things happen with a small amount of resources instead of make excuses as to why more resources are needed to make x happen?
- Has this person travelled extensively or at least has a broad understanding of different cultures and how they operate? (huge because generally the best startup founders borrow approaches from a wide variety of global cultures)
Feel like I’m missing something? Comment down below!