We're All Investors

Posted on by Brian Hertzog

Whether we know it or not. Not just of money--of time, love, energy, etc. We start off like mini trees. As we grow, we provide more for others until we've got nothing left to give but a stump.  Allocating money is one way to grow rich, but if we see ourselves as investors in life, our limited time, fragile hearts, personal dreams. How "tall" will we grow?

Investing has a bad reputation because it's frequently in conversation with greed, fraud, and corruption. That's a narrow perspective. Most decisions are investments. I give or do something now for some future outcome. Better decision makers will be better investors.

It's not just for banks, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley. Investing is for everyone. We do it all the time, even if it's not with money, we just don't call it investing. Give now, even if you can only spare a few seeds. Many years from now you'll have a tree.

Room For Value

Posted on by Brian Hertzog

In the past seven months, I've been fortunate to see hundreds of pitches and ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs. Most of the time, they are not pitching to me, but a prestigious panel of venture capitalists or angel investors. The panel asks the entrepreneur many questions about their business model, team, and strategy (see 10 questions angel investors ask). 

One question that is among the frequently asked is, "is there a market for this product?"  Investors want to know the market size and what companies are already serving this market. If there are few or no competitors, someone will usually say, "this must not be a very good market." Yet, if there is a very crowded market, another investor will usually say, "this market is too crowded."

The entrepreneur is at a loss either way he or she approaches answering the question regarding market. But, crowded or deserted will not determine if your idea will be successful-- your product will be a success if you are able to provide large amounts of value.

The goal of an entrepreneur should not be to go after the biggest market possible, but the most underserved. If you provide value, you'll always find room in the market.