In the early stages of a Monopoly game, you generally accumulate a somewhat random collection of properties. After moving your token (I prefer the top hat, naturally) around Parker Brothers’ version of Atlantic City once or twice, you might own Vermont Avenue, the Electric Company, St. James Place, the B&O Railroad, and Park Place. In real life, that might be a well-diversified portfolio, including transportation, utilities, and real estate — but in Monopoly, where the goal is to have all the properties in a sector, that’s not what you want.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I joined Sand Hill Angels earlier this year. In that context, the equivalent to a trip around the Monopoly board is a series of meetings by which thirty or so companies are whittled down to two or three in which members may choose to invest. Assuming due diligence doesn’t turn up any surprises, documents are signed, funds are transferred — and then the members sit back and wait, often for years, to find out whether or not their investment is worth anything. (Start-up investing takes even longer than Monopoly!)
So, after a few months, what do I own?