Predictions Are Useless, But Planning Is Indispensable

For those who know me, I am a planner. I truly enjoy it. And while I’m happy to be flexible when things don’t fall the way I’d like, I oftentimes build concurrent plans as options along the way, just in case those things happen. At the end of the year in years past, I fell into a trap of trying to predict what could happen in tech and startups and VC next year. 2020 proved that exercise to be worthless, so I didn’t do it this year and probably won’t ever do that again.

Perhaps instead, I thought, I should just share how I’m planning for things given the bumpy start to the year, where I was supposed to visit a good friend in Montana for the week to kick off the year – and was cancelled. Two other events in January – had to unwind them. Not a major complaint, but unfortunate in that I would’ve had long meals with great friends. Hopefully soon.

First, plans for me always start with the kids and family. What do they want to do over their breaks? How can I slowly ween them off their old toys toward new books or board games? Could one of them go away to camp this year — NO!!!! And how do I make sure each day from 5-8pm I’m in their zone, as much as I can be? What do we, as parents, need and want for the year? Honestly, I don’t know the answer yet.

Second, we have work. I feel lucky, my work doesn’t feel like work. Some small parts do, but very manageable. Instead, the question is around finding focus to have a chance to find signal amid the noise. I am lucky that I get to see lots of cool things early. I miss a lot in those early meetings. It’s part of the game. We are investing out of a brand new fund, and starting a new vintage is always a superstitious moment for me, intensified right now by all the randomness in the air. We are fortunate we have plenty of capital, a brand new fund, and we still focus on one thing – meeting people early, building relationships with them, and going along on a ride with them.

Third…. well, truth is I have some resolutions (mostly personal) and some big hairy work goals (stay tuned), but I need to add something here. Cooking is sort of a release, but it’s also in my home. Travel would be welcomed, but most of ’22 trips to start have been reversed back to the credit card. I’m a very social person, so am hoping the “hammer” part of Omicron passes quickly so the “dance” can be restored. Until then, it’s cooking, Star Wars, board games, and losing myself in the Zoom metaverse, a land that now feels like familiar territory.

Like I mentioned, predictions are useless, and so are plans — but planning, as Eisenhower said, is indispensable.