Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why Venture Capital?

Why? Indeed I spent quite a bit of my time at school (at the expense of that amazing market strategy class) looking blankly at the professor and thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.
So many avenues were open to me and the economy seems to be doing well too. But what should I be focusing on? This is the question most people are faced with at regular intervals of their lives and I sincerely believe the ones who succeed are those who can answer it in a way that it aligns with their darkest, innermost urges.
What is your elixir?
What makes you happy?
What would be a satisfactory life if I fast-forwarded 40 years and you were in the autumn of your career/life?
Most people try to look at life as a ladder and look at the next few rungs at a time. I do not believe that is a unreasonable strategy. But I like to atleast take a stab at fashioning my life from the big picture down. What is the 30000ft view of what I want to do? And then lets zoom down to see, what the potential next few steps might be.
Unrealistic? I do not know. I am 29 and have worked enough and studied enough to atleast make an attempt to figure my ambitions out.
But I ramble. The question was: Why Venture Capital?
I have a bachelors and MS in Electronics and Telecommunications. I really love technology. No, not just in a geeky sort of way. But I genuinely believe in its power to change our lives. Tell me the last consultant/IB guy who changes the way we did things? But the guy who invented the VoIP protocol, and the guy who created/marketed Skype changed our life immutably. So, post-MBA whatever I do, it has to do with technology. Then these are the options I have:
1. IB with a tech focus
2. Consulting with a tech focus
3. Operating role in a large/midsize tech firm
4. Do a tech startup/ground floor of a early stage tech firm
5. Invest in tech (PE/VC)

Of all these options, 4 and 5 seem most interesting to me. I dont seem to be excited by 1 or 2. And have done enough of 3 in my prior life.
So, it boils down to either investing in technology or starting a company of my own. Both of which are viable, reasonable options and none of which is a backup to the other.

Somewhere in the first couple of months of my MBA, after hearing the experiences of tons of alumni/2nd years, I decided to pursue a career in Venture Capital and/or look for entrepreneurial oppportunities.

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