Focus. It is among the most frequent topics of conversation with startups, at board meetings, in pitches, etc.. Everybody wants to succeed at everything, right now, so there’s always a tendency to do more. Saying yes is simple; saying no is tough. Saying yes means opportunity cost (which can be somewhat harder to internalize)
As broad as it might look, the USV investment thesis is all about focus. Through time, that focus has a) helped us develop a profound experience and specialization in a particular type of business / investment and b) saved us lots of time making it easy to say no to lots of stuff. Today, we’re seeing a new round of that sort of focus — I’m particularly mindful of it in areas like crypto/blockchain, where the groups/funds which are hyper-focused in the area and hyper participated are far ahead in terms of their learning and community.
This is as true for people as it is for businesses. Here, it is maybe even harder. Who do I wish to become? What is going to get me there? Closing off any possible door is painful. But on the flip side, slowly progressing along several fronts is a recipe for you nowhere.
So as to have focus you must have conviction. That the thing you’re focusing on, while not being what , is enough of something to chew on for a very long time — and is significant enough something that if you truly succeed at it you will accomplish what you would like to accomplish.
It’s really hard, but experience and repeated observations say that it is crucial.