Dual Threats

This image is intended to be a joke. The post is real, however.

Dual Threats

I was presenting at a Family Office event and someone asked if I was a dual threat CEO.

I had to look it up, I have CEOd before, and I am currently a sherparding resources around a new project, but I never marketed myself as “Dual Threat”. But such CEOs”  are becoming an increasingly important part of the Venture Capital ecosystem. These individuals, who are both founders and CEOs while simultaneously running family offices or funds and syndicates, offer a compelling and differentiated product from what incumbent VC firms have built. This unique value proposition is clearly resonating with the market, as evidenced by the pace of fund formation, investments, and track record of Dual Threat CEOs.

One of the key drivers for this trend is that the bifurcation of time makes Dual Threat CEOs better at both jobs. By being actively involved in both the operation of a company and the investment process, these individuals are able to bring a unique perspective and skill set to both roles. This allows them to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes in both areas.

It’s no longer good enough to be a former CEO because the relevance of prior art around operating VC-backed tech companies deteriorates too quickly. The people who best understand how to operate a company today are currently in the arena because the game just changes too fast. This means that Dual Threat CEOs have a distinct advantage over traditional VCs (or SFOs, or Angel Groups) who may not have recent operational experience. According to AngelList, the top quartile of Dual Threat founders not only vastly outperform the average fund manager on the platform, they are at parity with the top quartile of traditional venture capital firms. This track record is likely due to their unique combination of operational expertise and investment acumen.

Or they only take a dual role on the winners, haha.

I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.