Wait – what?

I am pretty confident my partner Jason is among the most well-read VCs out there. We are easily talking several books a week. I am happy if I manage one book a month. I have been bugging him to start a blog about what he is reading – because I know I sure benefit from his recommendations and I think a lot of you would enjoy them too. So next time you see him give him a nudge about that blog.

In any case, a while ago Jason recommended I check out a series of books called “The Best American Science and Nature Writing“. I just read the 2015 edition and was blown away; so I ordered another few editions to keep me going. When we meet for an evening beer we typically don’t like to talk about SaaS multiples but quickly drift off in to science, politics and society. It opens our minds and keeps us curious; it’s the only way we’d have it.

The point of this blog post though is that Rebecca Skloot, the editor of the 2015 edition, used one simple criteria to decide whether or not she would include a piece of writing in that year’s volume: while reading a science or nature piece, did she have a “wait – what?” reaction. Did she have a moment of disbelief, a moment of magic and enthusiasm?

This made me think of a style of investing we have developed over the years but never really articulated it. We just can’t get excited about companies that make perfect sense, have perfect slides, perfect growth charts if we didn’t have the “wait – what?” moment. That means we probably tend to take more risks, focus more on what-if-it-works vs. is-it-working. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. I think investing in “wait – what?” companies is what venture capital is about.

We can’t wait to tell you about the first investments we have made at BlueYard.





  • Federico Ziza

    Hey Ciaran just FYI the link to Jason’s twitter is wrong.

    That aside, I agree, it would be great to hear what he’s reading!