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HBR: Make Decisions with a VC Mindset

Venture investors are the hidden hand behind the most innovative companies surrounding us. According to research conducted by one of us (Ilya), venture capitalists were causally responsible for the launch of one-fifth of the 300 largest U.S. public companies in existence today. They have played an essential role in unlocking the power of the internet, the mobile revolution, and now artificial intelligence in all its forms. Apple, Google, Moderna, Netflix, Airbnb, OpenAI, Salesforce, Tesla, Uber, and Zoom—these firms disrupted entire industries despite initially having fewer resources and less support and experience than their mature, successful, cash-rich competitors. All these businesses could theoretically have emerged from within an established company—but they didn’t. Instead, they were financed and shaped by VCs. Indeed, we estimate that three-quarters of the largest U.S. companies founded in the past 50 years would not have existed or achieved their current scale without VC support.

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