Defrag Blog

It Can’t All Be Game-Changing

by Eric Norlin on Sep.22, 2010, under Uncategorized

Humans have a weakness (it’s actually physiological, I think): a predilection toward narcissism. As such, we always see whatever time we’re living in as THE crucial time in the span of human history (at every point in history, every one has thought that surely THIS is the critical moment). I mean, with global flattening and climate whatever we’re now calling it and the “new normal” economy and peak oil and the creation of the internet and the rise of the super angel and the falling capital cost of software startups, how the hell can we NOT be living at the center of the most critical point in human history? Right?

Let me once again trot out our collective and individual predilection toward narcissism.

All points in history are important, and some points in history are more important than others, but it really is fool-hardy to place yourself at the center of history’s most important point. Actually, it’s a good way to ensure that you’re wrong.

Bottom-line: it can’t ALL be game-changing. If the dotcom boom “changed things” and software as a service changed things and e2.0 changed things and the cloud changes things and super angels change things — basically, everything changes everything else. And, so what?

I’m off on this little bubble-bursting mission this morning because of the whole Bin38/Angelgate thingy.

I have a lot of friends/associates that are in the venture capital/angel investing business. I don’t know ANY of them (not one) that are slimy and successful. The ratio of integrity to success is so high that correlation is a given. That’s all I need to say about that.

Here’s the other side of it: When the conversation is now so firmly focused on “super angels vs. VC’s” and how it’s a “game changer” and the “paradigm has shifted” and we’re “creating a new landscape” — you know that it’s time to get out the hip waders because the river of BS that’s flowing is deep AND wide.

Isn’t this conversation supposed to be about the startups? Aren’t the investors supposed to be in the background helping to make things happen? Isn’t the point to build successful companies not endlessly debate who’s got the bigger….uh, yea….angels or VCs?

When the conversation becomes so deafening and it has nothing to do with what we’re supposed to be talking about, you can know two things:

1. Humans have a predilection toward narcissism (hence, the beginning of this post).

2. There’s some sort of “mini-bubble” dynamic at play, and it’ll all end badly for at least 51% (ie, a majority) of the parties involved.

So, here’s my rant: We’re not all “changing the world,” or creating some new paradigm, or living on the cusp of the greatest moment in history. We’re building solid businesses that deliver on the promises that we make to our customers.

wow.

Oh, by the way, for more unvarnished talk and intimate networking - be sure to join us at Defrag (early bird expires September 30th).

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