Mostly, we look at the people. If they seem determined, flexible, and energetic, and their ideas are not just flamingly terrible, then we’ll fund them. We thought Airbnb was a bad idea. We funded it because we really liked the founders. They seemed so determined and so imaginative. Focusing on them saved us from our own stupidity.
The very best ideas usually seem like bad ideas at first. Google seemed like a bad idea. There were already several other search engines, some of which were operated by public companies. Who needed another? And Facebook? When I first heard about Facebook, it was for college students, who don’t have any money. And what do they do there? Waste time looking at one another’s profiles. That seemed like the stupidest company ever. I’m glad no one gave me an opportunity to turn it down.