National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) named our partnership, True Ventures, as the venture capital firm of the year. It is always an honor to be recognized by our peers, but in the end, the award is a reflection of the people who we serve — the founders, their teams and their families. 10,000 of them. It has taken over a decade to get here — one startup at a time. Some of them are big (Automattic), some define the zeitgeist (Blue Bottle, Peloton, and Ring) and others are writing the script of tomorrow today, companies like Veniam and Zymergen.
I was recording a podcast with Matthew Panzarino, editor of TechCrunch yesterday and the conversation turned to current state of Silicon Valley, and the point I made was that as an industry we have been focused on a limited set of metrics – growth and intelligence, for example.
Sure, like any intellectually intensive industry needs high level of IQ, but as we become more embedded and enmeshed in mainstream socio-economic and cultural fabric, technology industry needs to have an equal and perhaps more focus on values and emotional impact of what we create. Technology is a lot more pervasive and embedded into our lives. It is not something that just impacts that operations of a company, an industry or a small subset of population. The digitization’s influence is far-reaching. I have written about need for empathy and understanding.
But in reality we need to start within our own industry — our own ecosystem of investors, startups and finding ways to be more inclusive. It is time to let go of dogmas that have corrupted how our system itself works. My partner at True Ventures Jon Callaghan have very eloquently written about this topic and if you get a chance, give it a read.