Today was our VC firm’s “annual meeting,” and it is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s an in-person meeting whereby we gather with our investors to update them on our companies.
I learn a lot at these meetings. We have investors who manage huge pools of capital, and some used to manage endowments at Yale, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. Others invest on behalf of large retirement plans. It’s a sophisticated group.
Well, one of them shared with me a concept called “Business Love.” He said that the investment managers who tend to do the best for them are the ones with Business Love. I had no idea what he was talking about, and so, I asked him to elaborate.
Here’s what he meant:
- Members of those firms really respect and like each other. They’re very tight. In fact, they love each other
- They have a sense of mission. They want to make money, but that’s not the most important driving force
- How they treat each other spills over to how they treat their entrepreneurs and investors
Now, you may think of all this as hokey. But here’s this individual’s track record investing in VC and private equity managers: his performance is ranked #1 in the world, according to a third party. So, he’s got tons of street cred.
I think culture is a fascinating topic. We’ve always thought at Kepha that firm culture is everything, which is why we have Operating Principles. We wrote down our Principles to create a positive work environment, selfishly, for ourselves. We never expected it, though, to be a driver of superior financial results.
I’m going to think a lot about Business Love, and I’m going to look out for it at our companies. Pretty cool concept.