In my experience, there are 2 occasions when an entrepreneur has the opportunity to envision the scope, grandeur and potential legacy of their venture. The first, occurs when the initial idea hits us. That moment when you realize that in your head lies an idea that can solve a problem you’ve observed and that it could maybe even radically transform a specific sector, demographic, industry or movement. You know you haven’t done any research, you have no proof of concept and no one has provided any constructive criticism yet at that moment; you feel brilliant. You may even begin imagining yourself of the cover of Forbes, or doing interviews for Entrepreneur magazine, etc, etc, etc. For many people, this is the birth of their entrepreneurial career.
The second occurrence is usually not as euphoric. In fact, most entrepreneurial dreams die before that second occurrence ever takes place. You see, if you manage to progress beyond your initial moment of creative brilliance, the road ahead proves to be rough. Mentors will ask tough questions, friends will be unimpressed, investors may not believe your potential market is big enough (or even exists), potential co-founders will raise questions of monetization, prospective employees may be disgruntled by slow progress or stagnation and you yourself could quietly close the doors of your venture, cut your losses and return to “reality”.
On the other hand, there is the chance you may endure. Perhaps you tweak, pivot and refine your original idea into to something that can actually be implemented. Not that you needed their approval but maybe your revised venture garners the respect and approval of investors, mentors and start-up advisors. If and when you achieve this second visionary moment, you may find it to be more sobering than the first instance yet more fulfilling as well. What started out as an unproven concept has now blossomed into an unrealized enterprise. Congrats my friend…
Most people are easily bored by the details of how a venture may operate but they tend to rather enjoy hearing about a venture’s audacious and disruptive goals. Well, here are mine.
1. What began as an alternative investments start-up, think Grameen Bank (http://www.grameen.com) meets Bolstr (https://bolstr.com) will now be a hybrid Venture Capital & Private Equity firm that "acquires" seed stage, social enterprise start-ups.
2. My plan is to structure and implement our business model in a way that I can run this venture alone (if I choose to) with nothing more than a laptop for years to come. No flashy corner office, No permanent staff, No buildings with our logo on it.
3. Most importantly, we will become the primary financier of the 99% of start-up ventures that will never secure outside capital from investors. The nature of early-stage investing mandates that VCs, angels and the like exclusively fund ventures that have the largest market and largest chance of success. As a result, there are numerous feasible and well thought out ventures that are out there they will not and can not become anything close to a "unicorn". Well, while traditional investors fund the roughly .25% of start-up ventures that fit their criteria, we'll fund everyone else.