VC at 80

Alan Patricof is a Managing Director at VC firm Greycroft Partners. He recently turned 80 and wrote a post about why he remains an active VC at that age. The full post is here.

There are two key parts of the post that resonate with me.

The first is when Alan writes “Leisure activities with little mental stimulation do nothing to propel me forward.” I feel the same way, returning to do my work on vacations because leisure becomes quite boring after a day or two. If I’m fortunate enough to live as long as Alan, I hope I feel the same way when I’m 80. The fact that I really like what I’m doing suggests that this is likely to be the case.

The second part of the post that resonates with me is when Alan writes “I am almost always the oldest person in the room but with the longest time perspective.” Currently, I’m almost always the youngest person in the room. Although most investors are older than the entrepreneurs they back, I’m younger than most of our entrepreneurs, and younger than nearly all the other investors we interact with. This brings its advantages, like being able to better relate to young entrepreneurs, together with its challenges, like having some people take you less seriously because of your age.

But as Alan points out, each age has its pros and cons. When you’re older, you have more experience but this experience can get in the way of looking at new ideas with an open mind and seeing the opportunities they present. I look forward to the advantages and the new challenges that being an older VC will bring.