Today my partner and I went to visit some Masters in the art of venture funding, if such a thing could be labelled.
These guys have been doing this for about 25 years. That's a pretty long time.
One thing they said that struck a chord with me was:
If there was a way for an entrepreneur to fuck up, we've seen it.
In that one statement, it dawned on me that I was talking to true Masters. Their decades of experience in entrepreneurship give them an incredible leg up on how to create sustainable, growing businesses. To discount their advice would be foolhardy and ridiculous.
Their other piece of advice was our desire to form an internal innovation lab where we could build stuff from our own ideas and launch them. Due to the spectacular failures of almost all of the incubators through the Internet years, there is a incredibly bad taste in investors' mouths about incubators since none of them delivered to the potential they said they could.
In the interest of not generating negative opinions about us by doing something different than the norm, we've decided to tone down the labs and put it as a future thought for a project that will be approved by the investors. We won't be setting this up at the outset, which could sour investors' opinions of us due to their past experiences with previous incubators.
I am fortunate to have met these individuals and look forward to working with them, and learning from them. I kind of feel like Caine in "Kung Fu"....before he could snatch the pebble....