Did you know that Sergey Brin and Larry Page tried selling Google to Excite for $1 million in 1999? Excite turned them down.
A first-time entrepreneur who has raised nearly $5 million for her start-up writes, “My biggest concern for the health of the start-up economy is the avoidance of any kind of original thinking by VC’s. It just isn’t rational to fund the fourth, fifth or seventeenth copycat business. I love what Floodgate’s Mike Maples and Ann Miuro-Ko say about their preference for funding non-conforming ideas because they usually turn out to be the biggest ones. They say if an company is a hot deal it is rarely a home run because it’s not original enough. The real ’10+ baggers’ are the investments no one would touch — the ones they had to defend the first few years.”
I believe that true entrepreneurs can believe in their idea to a fault, and it’s really hard to tell blind optimism from revolutionary insight. Still, the next Google isn’t going to be an un-original idea. It’s going to get laughed at a bunch of times before it finds its path to greatness.