Hats Off!

Someone once told me a story that I think about often. It went something like this:

Two friends were walking together through some fields when they came to a high wall. The wall stretched as far as they could see in both directions. As they were talking about what to do in this impassable situation one of the men takes off his favorite felt hat and throws it over the wall. The other looks at him and says “why did you do that – that was your favorite hat,” to which his friend responds “now we’re going to have to find a way over that wall.”

A little corny perhaps, but the lesson is a good one and particularly relevant to life as a VC (or just life in general) where we sometimes forget that our jobs are to throw hats over impossible walls and figure out a way around or over them. Sure, gathering data is important; taking a measured stand is important; and jumping off of a bridge with the idea that you will figure out how to make a parachute on the way down is probably not the greatest idea. But sometimes the right thing to do is to jump into the unknown and take the stand that you will figure it out.

This story has relevance to blogging as well. I wasn’t expecting the ‘holy crap’ feeling I had last night after I had posted my first blog entry and sent a note around to some friends letting them know that I was on my way. What am I going to write about, and who is going to care anyway? A friend wrote to me after he had read my first entry saying that he too had been thinking about starting up a blog, but that the anticipation of feeling exposed and out there after taking the jump was stopping him (he actually used more colorful language not worth subjecting y’all to). Well – my hat is lying firmly on the other side of the wall. Not sure if I’m going to find a way over it, but here’s to trying!

sjl

p.s. RB – hat’s off, man!