The Intersection of Venture Capital and Productivity: Unraveling the Puzzle of Innovation


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 21, 2023

5 min read


The Intersection of Venture Capital and Productivity: Unraveling the Puzzle of Innovation


Venture capital and productivity are two critical elements that shape the trajectory of economic growth and innovation. While their individual roles may seem distinct, a closer examination reveals intertwined connections and shared implications. In this article, we will explore how venture capital impacts productivity, the factors influencing both concepts, and the future implications for society and our careers.

The Role of Venture Capital in Building Infrastructure:

Contrary to popular belief, venture capital plays a minor role in funding basic innovation. In 1997, venture capitalists invested $10 billion, with only 6% going to startups. The majority of venture capital funds are allocated to building the infrastructure required for business growth, such as manufacturing, marketing, and sales. This highlights the crucial role venture capitalists play in nurturing entrepreneurs' ideas and providing the necessary resources for expansion.

The Market Matters Most:

One misconception is that venture capitalists invest solely in good people and ideas. In reality, they prioritize investing in industries that offer more forgiving competitive landscapes. By identifying industries projected to grow over 15% annually, venture capitalists increase the likelihood of success for their investments. This strategic approach ensures a higher probability of returns and minimizes risks.

The Importance of Timing and Competent Management:

Timing is everything in the world of venture capital. More than 80% of venture capital investments are made during the adolescent phase of a company's life cycle. The challenge for venture capitalists lies in identifying entrepreneurs who can advance key technologies to critical stages, such as FDA approval. Successfully timing these milestones enables companies to go public or be acquired by major corporations.

Additionally, competent management is paramount to executing growth strategies effectively. Venture capitalists seek out leaders who can meet the growing demand and drive the business forward. Identifying and supporting talented management teams is a crucial aspect of venture capital investment.

The Dynamics of Venture Capital Funding:

Venture capital funding operates on a unique set of dynamics. Investment bankers play a significant role in facilitating the exit strategy for venture capitalists. Commissions earned through initial public offerings (IPOs) can result in substantial financial gains. The presence of multiple venture capital firms investing in a company adds credibility and enhances the prospects of success. Furthermore, preferred provisions offer downside protection for venture capitalists.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on high-growth industries: When seeking venture capital funding, prioritize industries projected to experience significant growth. Aligning your business with these sectors increases the likelihood of securing investment and achieving success.
  • 2. Build a competent management team: Surround yourself with talented individuals who can execute growth strategies effectively. Venture capitalists value strong management teams, so investing in leadership capabilities is crucial for attracting funding.
  • 3. Timing is key: Understand the importance of timing in securing venture capital investment. Identify critical milestones in your business's life cycle and strive to achieve them before seeking funding. This increases the chances of success and enhances your value proposition to potential investors.

Connecting Venture Capital with Productivity:

While venture capital fuels innovation and economic growth, productivity serves as its lifeblood. A crisis in productivity growth could have severe consequences, including generational lifestyle stagnation, economic decline, environmental catastrophes, and social unrest. Therefore, understanding the relationship between venture capital and productivity becomes crucial for our future.

The Productivity Paradox:

Despite technological advancements, productivity growth has plateaued or declined in recent years. Workers are becoming more efficient, yet they do not reap the benefits of their increased productivity. This disconnect between productivity gains and worker compensation has led to societal concerns and a questioning of the productivity culture. The ruling class's utilization of productivity as a tool within capitalism has further exacerbated this issue.

The Impact of Technological Revolutions:

While the computer revolution has had a significant impact on information, communication, and entertainment, its influence on overall productivity growth is smaller than commonly believed. Historical technological revolutions, such as electricity and the combustion engine, had a more profound and widespread impact on living standards. Understanding the varying degrees of impact from different technological advancements is crucial in analyzing productivity growth.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) breakthroughs often generate excitement about imminent revolutionary changes. However, the impact of AI is spread over many years or even decades, resulting in a slower impact on productivity growth than anticipated. It is essential to temper expectations and understand the gradual nature of AI's influence on productivity.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace deliberate learning and reflection: Set aside dedicated time each week for deliberate learning, reflection, and experimentation. Warren Buffett's habit of spending 80% of his time reading and thinking highlights the power of continuous improvement through intentional learning.
  • 2. Break through the OK Plateau: Recognize that simply repeating tasks does not automatically lead to increased productivity. Once we reach a certain level of proficiency, our performance often plateaus. To overcome this, focus on deliberate practice, seeking continuous improvement and innovation.
  • 3. Strive for a new kind of productivity: Reimagine productivity as an inclusive concept that enhances personal fulfillment, purpose, and well-being. Aim for a productivity that leaves time for a balanced personal life and fosters a sense of aliveness and fulfillment.


Venture capital and productivity are intertwined forces that shape the trajectory of economic growth and innovation. Understanding the dynamics and connections between these concepts is crucial for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. By embracing strategic industry focus, competent management, and optimal timing, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of securing venture capital funding. Simultaneously, recognizing the impact of technological revolutions and embracing a new kind of productivity can pave the way for a more prosperous future.

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