March 9, 2011
The most important aspect of the Passion Investor, as we laid out, is with regards to their view of the why. Why is a company doing what they are doing and what is the big idea behind it? As a Support Investor this isn’t your primary concern, but you find yourself playing on a very similar field.
Much like the Passion Investor you are an early adopter. However your focus is on the people behind the company and how they will change the market, not the product. You are willing to back a team based on their experiences alone, based on who they are and what they bring to the table far before looking at their financials and strategies.
Your support comes in your want to see the success of the individuals. You know the management team (specifically the founder or CEO), you know their experiences, their successes and most importantly their failures. Your knowledge of the team is what drives your investment. Their product may not be as revolutionary as others in the market but you have a belief that they can pull it off, and that they deserve a chance to try. Which is both your strength and pitfall. You are passionate about the people and able to rally others behind them, while running the risk of becoming too infatuated with the people and missing red flags and other concerns.
As a support investor you typically seek out these three areas:
1) The Tangibles – You’re focus here is where these people have been and the things they’ve done. You want to know where they got their education, what they studies, what different jobs they’ve had. Basically this is where you aggregate all the information that has led them to where they are.
2) The Story – When you’re discovering the story behind an entrepreneur or company what you’re really looking for are their successes and failures. You want to find where they’ve been, and what they’ve learned.
3) The Why – When you’re looking at the why, you’re looking at why they are passionate about what they’re doing. Again, the idea isn’t your focus as this style of investor, here you’re looking at the people and in this instance why they are passionate about their startup.