There is a push and pull between inventors and investors – sometimes a dance, sometimes a fist fight. This plays out with entrepreneurs and VCs, startup founders and startup funders, artists and agents, designers and financiers…
The goal of inventors is to protect the invention, to stand over it like an angel and shade it from the harsh sunlight. The goal of investors is to push it out into the sun and ask it to increase its output.
Inventors are just happy seeing their thing work in the world. Investors want it to work better and faster than anything else that’s out there, to shine brightest, to speak loudest.
At best, these two forces work together to both protect and expose their beautiful thing so that more people will see and understand its value. But often, one pushes or pulls harder than the other, steps on toes, and ruins the dance.
Inventors may hold too tightly to the original vision. They can love their creations so much they stifle them, watch them wither and die in the workshop, happy and sad at the same time, like the last person to be holding a hand that’s going lifeless.
Conversely, investors can lose sight of the original vision. They may mistake themselves for inventors and try to reprogram the motherboard, furiously fiddling with wires while the inventor reveres the tools on the wall.
Each one resents and respects the other for their contributions, for their required reliance on someone who can do something they can’t. It is a tenuous relationship, where trust is a transient, distracted moderator who may get up at any moment and walk out of the room.
And from this alliance, as delicate as a coin on its edge, so many of us seek to change the world.