16 Attributes to Develop a Venture Mindset

In order for organizations to create a pipeline of new ventures internally – the kind of innovations that truly deliver meaningful growth for their organizations – there needs to be a challenge to the status quo and a cultivation of a Venture Mindset. This is the mindset exemplified by both great entrepreneurs and great investors who “see around corners,” identifying and building new approaches and new technologies that drive organic growth from within.

It is the mindset adopted by companies like Goodyear – a 123-year old company that continues to evolve its business, expanding beyond the traditional tire industry and establishing itself as a key player in the mobility revolution. Through their internal incubator, Goodyear is bringing new internal ventures to market like AndGo, a digital vehicle readiness platform to support the future of shared mobility, and SightLine, an intelligent tire technology that offers cost-reducing predictive analysis for fleets.

The Venture Mindset also drives the 110-year old Hitachi, which built an incubator to accelerate future-forward lines of business. Hicham Abdessamad, Hitachi America’s Chairman, shares that Hitachi took “the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial approach and drove it inside a very large organization. Our goal was really to build new businesses that are going to be the next generation billion-dollar businesses for Hitachi and as part of that exploration, we understood the need to fail very fast, and to be very agile.” (Read more here on the six steps that Hitachi took to jumpstart organic growth and diversification). 

As your organization seeks to create new growth and keep ahead of external disruption by building new internal ventures, first cultivating a Venture Mindset should be a priority. 

Chris Tacy, Mach49 Partner, Corporate Investing and Board Member-in-Residence working with our growth accelerator team assembled a list of the key attributes of a Venture Mindset: 

Growth orientation.

Those with a Venture Mindset are uninterested in incremental growth - exponential growth is what matters.

All about value creation.

Growth is the north star for those with a Venture Mindset; but it’s only because through growth we create value. Creation of value is the end goal, always.

Risk tolerance.

Having a Venture Mindset means embracing risk - for without risk there is no reward. Embracing risk is not about acting recklessly, but about balancing the appropriate level of risk with potential payoff.

Acceptance of failures.

Having a Venture Mindset means embracing the reality that 9 out of 10 investments will fail.

Disruptors of the status quo.

Exponential growth always disrupts, and it’s through that disruption (of a market, a sector, a technology, or an industry) that opportunities are created. Having a Venture Mindset means looking for the chance to disrupt the status quo; to knock over the apple cart.

Opportunity focus.

Those with a Venture Mindset see the opportunities in every situation, rather than fixating on the risks. They are flip sides of the same coin after all.

Understanding of the power law realities of investing.

Build a portfolio, walk away from the bad deals quickly, double down on the winners.

Portfolio thinking. 

It’s never about any single deal, but rather about the entire portfolio.

High volume.

The more ideas the better. The more inputs the better. The more perspectives and knowledge the better. The more deals... the better. More is better.

Prioritize people (founders, team) over technology.

A great founder and/or a great team can pivot to new technologies, new businesses, new products and create wins. A weak founder and/or team cannot.

Prioritize execution over ideas.

Those with a Venture Mindset understand that there were more than a dozen sets of people who thought “we should sell books online” before Jeff Bezos came along. A great idea is great, but of no value by itself.

Comfort with unknowns. Comfort with ambiguity.

Those with a Venture Mindset are completely comfortable coming to conclusions, having points of view, and making decisions/having conviction without complete data or knowledge.

Independent and self-sufficient.

People with a Venture Mindset can take care of themselves. They are comfortable with their own opinions, and do not need support or consensus.

Doers not delegators.

Having a Venture Mindset means doing the work (all of it). There are no passengers on a Venture, or in a Fund.

High velocity, high efficiency.

Anything that decreases speed, pushes away from action and decision, or adds friction must be killed with fire.

Intolerant of blockers and politics.

Having a Venture Mindset means being rabidly focused on your goal and your velocity. Anything that slows you down, which distracts from the goal, or which handicaps your performance is an existential threat that must be removed.

Contact growth@mach49.com to learn more about the Mach49 process and the many corporate venturing clients we support.

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