Investing in companies, especially early stage, has historically been about capital, deal flow and judgement. If you had the money, you would get the deal flow and then you could take your time picking your favorites.Capital, deal flow and judgement are table stakes today. You need those three things to get into investing but it’s simply not enough to make any money. Investors today need to be thinking about access and community.Access, as Brendan Baker might say, is about being notable rather than credible. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or what experience you bring to the table — if the best founders don’t give you the opportunity to invest, you’ll never get a chance to get the big returns.
Community is less discussed in the typical investor circles but is increasingly becoming important — especially when trying to get into the hottest deals. The pillars of that community are the people, services and data that the investor’s community brings to the table. **cough** dashboard.io**cough**
As capital continues to be more accessible to founders (all over the world), smart investors should be thinking about their own access to deals and the community they bring to the table. The best founders will (and always have been) be able to raise money, the real question is who those founders choose to include in their deal.