Monopoly

MonopolyIn 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?

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Dating

I’ve written before about the use of romantic metaphors in business. I wasn’t about to commit myself to a serious long-term relationship based on a picture (no matter how lovely the lady’s looks) or because my friend said I’d find her delightful (no matter how much I trusted my friend’s judgment). Before making a long-term commitment, it is only rational to get to know the woman in question better. Dating, for me, was intended as an asymptotic approximation to marriage; as the relationship progressed, from going out for ice cream to living together, I expected to get an ever-better sense of what it would be like to spend the rest of our lives together. And, I think that the same applies in business.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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