At the foundation of any organization there are a few elements that repeating over and over regardless of the industry.
- Team or who does what?
- Process or how they do it?
- Content or What they do?
- Vision or why they do it? (other than to make a buck)
With more than half the world's population with Internet connectivity the question "where?" seems already redundant.
Without any of those elements or when they become weak the business model of any organization starts to crack. Whether it is lack of human and creativity capital which eventually loses to more superior products and services or inefficiency which derails profits and either leads to bankruptcies.
Top management in early stage companies after some point (hopefully past product market fit) only starts to focus on 3 out of 4 elements: Team, Process, and Vision. And that is understandable, they are more abstract and broader topics, to scale any organization there must a level of delegation, but in many in process of the such delegation company in many times underlooked is the Content part.
Quick history relapse with Google shows how the noun lived through Gartner curve over few last centuries from a hype of printing press invention during Renaissance to hitting bottom afterwards and starting to grow again with the invention of radio in early 1900s and then TV.
With significant technology advances very decades the form of Content is also evolving. With the recent buzz in Machine Learning and AI being on every page of tech journal, it is the proprietary underlying dataset that is the Content, and not many organization truly have them, many times it is a derivative of someone else's content. Forgetting to focus on the Content and ways to deliver it can cost the company its life: as way the case of Kodak and smartphone industry, Blockbuster and Netflix or the loss of IBM's PC battle which initially dominated.
It is the Content that brings value and it could be a varies forms, an educational insights or entertainment in a form of content article as much as SaaS product and a physical Iphone that lets you browser the web.
How does this relate to Venture Capital?
Venture Capital fund just like any other organization follows this path. Here are few of my thoughts on varies aspects of it:
Team: it is DNA which is a combination of being accountable, trustworthy, inquiring, therapeutic and risk-taking. More on the matter here
Process: the investment framework on how to analyze companies. More in great detail here
Content: it is the combination of doing quality transactions which is the core skill of a VC and what value-add you as an investor can bring to the table: your network, strategic bizdev, years of experience and emotional comfort for founders, ability to assist in capital raising, helping foster an exit or other platform related help which bigger fund have the leverage to provide.
Vision: That is the investment strategy of the fund. The Geo regions, the sectors and stage and amount of investments. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses here is highly vital to returning cash to your LPs.