We have our NextView 2013 Annual meeting this afternoon. I blocked off the morning expecting to have to do a bunch of last minute preparation, but everything seems to be pretty much ready to go. If you are an entrepreneur and are unfamiliar with these, think of it as a board meeting, but with more participants and a bit more gravity since it only happens once or twice a year.
There is a fair bit of work and preparation that goes into VC annual meetings. One could get overly focused on presenting information in just the right way or scripting the message perfectly. It can be pretty stressful.
We’re tried to maintain a different perspective over the years. I find these meetings to be a really good way to force ourselves to look at the forest from the trees, and think less about day-today activities and try to take the long view on our business and our industry. It’s helpful to be able to synthesize our thinking and get feedback from our limited partners based on their own extensive experience. We’re lucky to be in business with some great Limited Partners, who are a mix of terrific institutions as well as a number of individuals (many of whom have known us for a long time).
We also want to have fun and enjoy the day. Not that our meeting is all that entertaining (it’s fairly serious), but it’s a nice time to reflect on how lucky we are to do the work we do, with partners we like and respect, and with entrepreneurs that grind it out each day to try to change the world. When I think of it that way, I can’t help but enjoy the process, even if the material is dry, and we have to share both good and bad news. I find this perspective also frees us to be more intellectually honest about the state of affairs, and more authentic in our interactions overall.
Anyway, I better post this and make sure everything is in order and ready to go. Thanks for reading this stream-of-consciousness post! I might post some follow-up thoughts in the coming days/weeks.