Startup Studios Suck. Here's Why I'm Building One Anyway
I've always been skeptical about venture studios. The concept of a "startup factory" struck me as fanciful, something only those who haven't experienced the grueling journey of building a startup might romanticize. The notion of juggling multiple startups simultaneously seemed especially far-fetched, considering the Herculean task of making even one successful. Yet, here I am, embarking on creating a venture studio myself.
My decision to pursue this path stems from a simple truth: I love building things. I've dabbled in angel investing, and while intriguing, it never sparked the same excitement in me. There's a thrill in being in the trenches, directly involved in the chaos of creation, that mere advising or investing can't match. This realization led me to the venture studio model, a better fit for my hands-on approach than a traditional VC firm.
Why not latch onto a single idea and be a founder again? My preference leans towards the early stages of a startup - the ideation phase rather than the scaling phase. I liken it to the difference between prospecting for gold and building a mining operation once it is found. Early stages involve discovery, while later stages focus on capitalizing on successful ideas. I thrive in the former.
Retirement was a tempting option, filled with books and thinking - activities I deeply enjoy. However, the current AI revolution has rekindled a passion in me I haven't felt since my coding days. AI, the holy grail for programmers, is experiencing breathtaking advancements, making it impossible for me to step back now.
My inspiration partly comes from studying Sutter Hill Ventures (SHV). SHV's unique approach, particularly their involvement in founding about a quarter of their portfolio companies, including the success story of Snowflake, is remarkable. Their method, though challenging, has proven effective, influencing my strategy for Coeus Ventures.
At Coeus, we're adapting SHV's playbook to build AI-focused companies. We're adopting their 'serial' approach, concentrating on a few key bets rather than scattering resources. I plan to immerse myself as CEO in the primary venture each year, dedicating 80% of my efforts there while allotting the remaining 20% to explore new ideas. Our experiments will be documented here, though our main project each year will remain in stealth mode. We're excited about delving into three major themes:
If you're navigating similar waters or are interested in future collaborations, feel free to reach out at edmar at coeus.vc. Let's build something remarkable together.