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April 26, 2006 » 10:30 pm

Venture Capitalist Parable

From David Batstone‘s WAG, one of my favorite newsletters, comes this parable about a fisherman and a VC:    (KHE)

A venture capitalist was vacationing at the pier of a small coastal village. A couple hours before lunch time, he noticed a small boat with just one fisherman docked nearby. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The VC complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.    (KHF)

“Only a little while,” the fisherman replied. The VC then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. So the VC asked what he did with the rest of his day.    (KHG)

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. Some nights, I stroll into the village and play guitar with my amigos. We entertain the children with stories and songs.”    (KHH)

The VC offered, “I have an MBA from Harvard and could help. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a larger boat. With the proceeds from a larger boat you could buy several more boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you could sell directly to the processor and open your own cannery. With my advice on marketing, you would ultimately control the supply of product, processing, and distribution.”    (KHI)

“How long will all this take?” the stunned fisherman asked.    (KHJ)

“Perhaps 10 to 15 years,” the VC said.    (KHK)

“What then?”, the fisherman asked.    (KHL)

“Then you could retire,” the VC replied, “move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”    (KHM)

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One Response to “Venture Capitalist Parable”

  1. This happens to be on display at Harvard’s preferred pizza joint: Pinnochio’s.

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