Just realizing that I forgot to list one risk factor in my Fund II PPM--the possibility that the US turns into a fascist dictatorship. That probably won't have a positive effect on venture capital returns.
I mean, think about it--how well do you think those late 1930's German venture capital vintages did? How about Venezuela funds from 1998?
So, if you're annoyed or distracted by all your favorite tech and startup people talking about Trump--you should probably get used to it because this administration has become a real problem for our industry. It's no longer just a political issue when you're operating in an environment where the government is threatening the otherwise very stable national platform by which you've built your business on. Investors are willing to take early stage risk because they don't have other risks like nationalization of industries, martial law, dissolution of human rights, etc. It's easy to take that for granted, but that's why places like Russia have trouble getting their startup community off the ground. What investor wants to take that extra layer of government risk?
Does it get to the point where a VC has to say, "Well, I'd love to back you, but you're Muslim and the chance that you'll be deported is a founder risk I can't take."
That's the path we're headed down now if we don't stop it. Never in my lifetime have I ever seen a US government enact a law that favored one religion over another. That's a line I never thought I would see crossed--and we're barely a week into the administration.
This should be everyone's problem just because of human decency, but if that doesn't get you, now we've got a serious business risk on our hands, too. Don't think that a war with China won't put a damper on your quarterly earnings or the pre-money of your next round either.
Oh, and don't forget paying 20% more for all the goods and services not made here. Get ready to have to start paying your software engineers even more so they can afford to live.
Even if these terrible things don't come to pass, you're going to have a serious talent crisis unless your company starts speaking up. Startup workers tend to be younger, more educated, live in cities--meaning that whether you agree with them or not, these aren't the kinds of policies they can get behind. They want to live in a tolerant, global world free of discrimination--and they care a lot about the missions of the companies they get involved with, both as employees and as consumers.
So while you might be worried about pissing off half your red state customers if you sign an anti-Muslim ban petition, you might lose half your dev team if you don't, and then where are you? What are you doing as a company to show that you have core values these days? What does it say to your employees that are immigrants or children of immigrants if you stay silent?
No matter who you voted for, these issues are now on your doorstep, begging for action, because they touch all of us.