Why Venture Capitalists Prefer Missionaries to Mercenaries
If you’re looking for jokes about missionaries, you’ve come to the right page. But there’s also some shrewd and sage advice from some of the most successful venture capital investors including Mark Cuban, John Doerr, Andy Rachleff, Jim Goetz, Dan Levitan and Jessica Livingston.
It’s often the case that entrepreneurs pitching for funds focus on the financials or, more precisely, their impressive projections for revenue and profit. However, what drives the business to achieve those figures is not so much the financial nous of the entrepreneur – the angel / VC often provides some expertise in this area – but their zeal and enthusiasm about the product / service; their need to change the world.
John Doerr puts it well:
Mercenaries are driven by paranoia; missionaries are driven by passion. Mercenaries think opportunistically; missionaries think strategically. Mercenaries go for the sprint; missionaries go for the marathon. Mercenaries focus on their competitors and financial statements; missionaries focus on their customers and value statements. Mercenaries are bosses of wolf packs; missionaries are mentors or coaches of teams. Mercenaries worry about entitlements; missionaries are obsessed with making a contribution. Mercenaries are motivated by the lust for making money; missionaries, while recognizing the importance of money, are fundamentally driven by the desire to make meaning…