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Celebrate the misfits

A few weeks ago an entrepreneur at one of our portfolio companies referred to himself as a misfit.

In his words and mind, he couldn’t fit into most places or companies. He’s not a business person or a marketing person or a manager. He creates.

Some stuff is genius and other stuff is experimentation that doesn’t go anywhere. It takes work and it takes courage. But it’s all he knows. He’s a self aware misfit.

Many companies have a hard time with misfits. How do they “manage” them? How do they measure them. How do they take the greatness along with the craziness. Sometimes they do it well and sometimes they just can’t seem to make it work.

One of the best things about startups is that are usually born from the minds and courage of misfits. I think it’s our jobs as investors to support this and add value without messing with the misfit part.

Today I was at the musee d’orsay in Paris. It was a good reminder that the misfits like van Gogh and other artists created things considered revolutionary or outrageous in their time. But years later we can see the brilliance and can cherish them properly.

Management, boards, VCs, colleagues and end users would be well served to remember all of this and not wait years to cherish the misfits.

Let’s celebrate them now.

(please excuse the lack of links or typos. Wrote this post on my iphone).