Funding, execution and optionality

Timing, luck and survival was the subject of yesterday’s post by Fred Wilson, in which the three notions are shown to interrelate. The significance of the idea can’t be overstated, and it may be of particular importance in an environment of escalating turbulence and pace. Fred’s post was from the perspective of venture capital and the entrepreneurial existence, where funding, execution and optionality are also interrelated.


It’s possible to make a case, I think, in an environment of escalating turbulence and pace – especially when these accelerating qualities extend out into all areas of the economy – that all capital is venture capital, all enterprise has aspects of a startup, and we are all entrepreneurs regardless of our interests and status. Fred’s post, in this context, can be read more generally and applied to most, maybe all fields, endeavors, and directions.

In so doing, the concept of survival is the one out of the three that is most interesting, because timing and luck, which are associated, are largely out of our control and at best managed through portfolio diversification. Survival, on the other hand, though no sure thing, can be proactively pursued. The even better news is that the trying comes prefab in our natural instinct.

The thing that makes it less than obvious, in light of circumstance and volatility, is the relative measure of what survival means, how long it lasts, and in what way. A few examples from the latest headlines follow.

In the end, execution is what matters most, which is enabled by adequate funding. And all value is option value.