Diversity leads to better decision making
Co-Founder of Spinner, Grouper & Freestyle Capital
Limited perspectives on life lead to poor decision making.
Having different genders evaluate a company is a good investment strategy.
We need to put women in positions of power now to create more female leaders in the future.
Lesson:Entrepreneur Turned Angel Investor with Josh Felser
Step #9 WomEntrepreneurs: Diversity leads to better decision making
We were just saying no to a whole bunch of companies because we didn't feel like we were capable of... Our perspective on life was not going to help us make the right decision. Certainly a lot of women have come from e-commerce and retail into both the entrepreneurial world and also the investor world. We have no experience with that.
So, it's kind of like being practical about this. We want to invest in this big, beefy segment. We don't have the experience. It's more likely to get that experience in a woman than a man. You can get it in both. So, there are some segments we didn't know.
And then there's just a general, different way of evaluating. I know that when we look at companies, we're going to evaluate those companies as entrepreneurs in different ways. Having a diverse, a new non-white male kind of looking at the company, that person is going to look at that company in a very different way. Those entrepreneurs will look at that person in a different way.
So, there are probably startups who may not be excited about working with Dave and me because we're white men and may be more comfortable working with a woman. I mean, that's a real situation and I'm fine with it. I've already seen it happen.
We've talked about it as a group. The dynamics, if I'm in the room, there are two female founders we like and they are different when I'm in the room than when Jenny or Joyce is in the room. That's okay.
So, I think having a different perspective evaluating companies is so important to what we do. We recognize that we, Dave and I, we don't look at the world the same way but we each have a unique way of looking at the world and it's likely that if we bring on somebody who's not a white man, they'll probably have a different way of looking at the world and we'll make better decisions.
The second reason why I wanted to hire a woman is I've got a 13-year old daughter. I want to pave the way for her. If we don't make an effort to bring more women into positions of power and decision-making, whether it's venture or the corporate world, then her path is going to be harder.
I want her to be, if she wants to be one of these women that we're working with. I want her to feel like the only limits on her success will come from her, not from a door being closed because she's a woman. So, that's really important to me. I think about that more now than I did when she was younger.
I'm seeing more, but not enough. I would like to see more women as entrepreneurs outside of e-commerce and retail. I'd like to see more. We're still a long way away from anything resembling parity.
So, I will say that there are a couple of founder types that I'm more willing to take meetings for than others, like, I'm more likely to take a meeting with a woman who's starting a company because I think it's harder. So, I'm willing to put more effort into it.
I'm willing to take more meetings with anyone who's served in the military. There are a few areas where I'm willing to spend more time with the groups of people who are more challenged because of the societal dynamics at making it, whether it's an African-American, a woman, someone from the military. I feel like we should all be doing that.