Earning My Chair on the Stage

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Homebrew is fortunate enough to be supported by a small number of wonderful investors who have entrusted us to earn above market returns on their dollars. We love working on behalf of these partners because they represent charitable foundations, pension funds, university endowments and other groups who rely upon our returns to grow. It’s a responsibility that Satya and I take quite seriously, which is one reason why we also spend a good amount of time in ensuring we’re working with the right group of LPs.

Late last year I traveled back east to visit the campus of one of our endowment partners to celebrate a milestone anniversary for their management company. Besides staff and alumni of the university, a significant number of investors — folks like me — made the trip, out of interest and respect for what this great university has done over time.

Homebrew celebrates its third anniversary this April, having closed our first fund 4/2013 (and our second fund 1/2015). It feels like mile 3 of a marathon — one where we’re very happy with the time splits thus far but know most of the race is still ahead of us. There was a venture capital panel at the endowment’s event which reminded me of this. On stage were partners from some of the top multistage venture and growth equity investors. Folks who have returned real dollars to the endowment — top percentile performers.

I was filled simultaneously with pride and aspiration. Pride because this endowment has taken a chance on us as new managers. Aspiration because 5, 10, 15 years from now I want to be on that stage, representing the best of their performers, not in the audience. And because we’re early stage investors, that happens only if we’re able to back, and stick with, missionary founders who build lasting companies. No financial engineering. No getting lazy on fees. No vanity metrics. 2016, let’s do this….

Originally published at hunterwalk.com on January 6, 2016.

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