VC Warns Greed Isn’t Good
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson has written a piece in his blog entitled Greed isn’t Good, when you’d expect someone who regularly deals in millions and billions of dollars to say quite the opposite. I find that refreshing.
A Lesson in Leadership
For more than a decade, we have recruited for some of the hottest venture-capital-backed-startups out there. When VCs invest in a company, they look for startups capable of reaching a billion dollar valuation. So when the managing partner of Union Square Ventures stops to caution us against greed, it is worth paying attention.
Fred Wilson’s comments appear to be pointed at the financial services, technology, real estate, and crypto currency sectors. Bitcoin Cash is up 50% today. Mr. Wilson observed it was up 100% a couple of days ago, making it “a thing”.
But no matter what the context, the VC’s anti-greed commentary is designed to challenge the Gordon Gekko stereotype we hold in our minds from the movie Wall Street where actor Michael Douglas uttered the memorable phrase, “Greed is good.”
VC Fred Wilson posits that greed is not good for business, especially when there’s “a lot of money sloshing around”.
I would add that greed is one of the 7 deadly sins for a reason. Greed, which is also known as avarice, lays the groundwork for all sorts corporate malfeasance: Trickery. Maniupluation of authority. Cooking the books. Theft and robbery. Even violence.
While it makes for memorable scenes in movies, greed is capable of destroying companies and the people who work for them. It is also capable of destroying families. I witnessed the greed of a sibling destroy the family my parents built. It was utterly heartbreaking.
So how do you know when your desire for material possessions is tipping over into greed? Quite simply, it is when you want more than you really need. That is the definition of greed.
Seriously, we need to check ourselves.