Becoming an excellent venture capitalist isn’t just about reading the right books or getting an MBA.
In fact, the most important quality that could make or break an investor’s career has little to do with work experience at all, according to Blake Bartlett, vice president OpenView Venture Partners.
In his latest blog post, Bartlett emphasises the importance of what he calls “intellectual curiosity.”
Examining companies and potential investment opportunities with a healthy dose of scepticism helps VCs look beyond the short term and into the bigger picture.
Bartlett uses Blue Bottle, the craft coffee retailer that raised $US25 million from Morgan Stanley Investment Management and other big-name investors in January, as an example.
If someone claims that coffee companies like Blue Bottle are going to kill Starbucks, an “intellectually curious” person wouldn’t just take that at face value. He or she would ask questions like “Why is Starbucks so broken?” and “When and where did this coffee trend start?” and “Who are the leading players today?” as Bartlett points out.
Asking questions and maintaining a strong sense of curiosity is also necessary to see a company or market trend for what it truly is. For example, Bartlett notes that competitors may bash their rivals and executives could try to inflate the achievements of their company’s department. It’s the VC’s job to cut through any exaggerations and investigate which claims are valid.
Before becoming vice president at OpenView Venture Partners, Bartlett was the vice president at Battery Ventures, where his investments included Glassdoor and Wayfair among others.
Be sure to check out Blake Bartlett’s blog post for more detail about what it means to be an “intellectually curious” VC.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.