Can a VC Think Like a Startup? That’s Part of Homebrew’s Goal in Switching to Our Own Capital.

Why Investing Our Savings Instead of Other People’s Money Let Us Rethink What Venture Capital PMF Looks Like in the Decade Ahead. [Part Two]

Hunter Walk

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a group of happy bees, digital art [DALLE-E]

According to the physical rules of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly, but it doesn’t know that, so it does. The same can be said of startups and their founders, in the sense that so many things can go wrong in the building of a company to an exit, that success almost seems to be a statistical anomaly [more on how bees fly]. Homebrew has invested in well over 100 seed stage startups this past decade, in most of them working closely with the founders and early team during their first several years. In other words, we’ve seen lots of bees fly. But, and I’m really belaboring the metaphor here, we also saw the venture industry move from bespoke beekeeping where the two parties are lovingly tied to one another, to industrial scale honey production.

an entire city constructed from bee hives, digital art [DALL-E]

Confronted with this evolution we made a decision to change Homebrew. Pushing aside, for the time being, ownership targets, institutional venture models and other people’s money.

In other words, Satya and I wanted to maximize our time with the bees themselves, not the size of our beehive and support systems necessary to prioritize scale.

We announced this change publicly (aka Homebrew Forever) in February and spent all of 2022 in this mode, revisiting, and in some cases revising, our core assumptions about venture capital. In other words, we started revisiting what PMF looked like after a proactive pivot. There’s lots and lots of institutional capital out there, much participating in its own self-commoditization (a whole separate post). There’s also many wonderful angel/operators and smaller supporting funds with large portfolio strategies.

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Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .