November 16, 2008

"Time is the greatest enemy"

Chris Douvos, Co-Head of Private Equity Investing at The Investment Fund for Foundations, has an open letter to the CEOs of the portfolio companies of the funds he's invested in.
Indeed, the ingredients of any business are: ideas, people, capital, and time. And of those elements, time is the most immutable, the most obstinate, the most tyrannical. They’re just not making any more of it!

You have but one weapon against this cruel oppressor: focus. In good times, managers don’t have to focus as acutely because the creation of good stuff outstrips the slouching to disorder. The great all-weather managers, on the other hand, have to focus because they realize that time is really expensive and when the creation of good stuff slows, entropy lies in wait. Choose what to do and what not to do. Just choose quickly and be explicit about your choices.

We’re all in this together. Your success becomes my success (less, ahem, the GP carry) and I’m rooting for you. You guys are the beating heart of the entrepreneurial economy. You guys rock nonstop. Stay focused and be careful out there; you’re facing the greatest enemy of all: time.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the Private Equity and Venture Capital ecosystem in India. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.