Strategically and operationally, I think there is a huge difference between drivers and passengers that comes out when they are placed in a new situation. When placed in their next company:
- Drivers assess the situation and develop strategies and tactics appropriate for the new reality.
- Passengers do what worked last time.
I think this is fair criticism:
I am repeatedly stunned by the number of otherwise very intelligent people who show up and do what worked last time. Often with the very same cohort / entourage with whom they did it.
It is, however, a very easy trap to fall into.
Meanwhile, completely unrelated except that I was reading his essay at about the same time, Paul Graham makes an interesting point about the future of Venture Capital funding:
Different terms for different investors is clearly the way of the future. Markets always evolve toward higher resolution.
Having had opportunities to work for companies held captive by their investors, as well as companies which had other ways to manage their finances, I have seen both the good and the bad of the VC process. Graham has proposed a variety of interesting ideas over the last decade to solve some of the problems, and his essays are always intriguing.