Value Chain: Intentional Generosity Starts with Gratitude

Value Chain: Intentional Generosity Starts with Gratitude

This note is the first in a series of four that detail Loup Ventures’ core values. These values drive how we operate, who we hire, and ultimately, what we look for in founders. We believe that vibrant culture driven by shared values separates the best companies from the rest. We meet with hundreds of startups a year and one of the common gaps that we see is a lack of focus on culture building. In an effort to bring our values to life, we’re sharing them in our Value Chain series.

We believe in the power of generosity – both as a means of fostering a positive environment for team members to do their best work, and as a powerful business tool that generates a virtuous cycle for stakeholders.

The Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. By giving more than you receive, you place your faith in the fact that others will return the favor. Generosity, however, is not quid pro quo – rather, each generous action pays into a culture that you hope will benefit you indirectly. So, if you want to be treated generously, act that way toward everyone – including bosses, employees, investors, co-workers, and partners.

Internally, intentional generosity creates a virtuous cycle of supporting one another, and yields better work through true collaboration. The byproduct is a positive environment of abundance – not scarcity – maximizing everyone’s benefit rather than defending individual territory.

This plays out at Loup Ventures in a powerful way: compensation. As a startup venture fund, our operating budget doesn’t support a big team. But our research-driven strategy requires lots of hard work. So, we’ve all committed to below-market pay near-term in hopes of above-market returns long-term. This is basic risk-reward, but the risk is also mitigated by the choice to be generous with each other in terms of time, learning, and development, not just foregone wages.

Externally, we try to live out the same generosity across all stakeholders. While we only invest in 1% of the startups we meet, many of the no’s have a continued relationship with us as we look for unique ways we can help them. Remember, however, that intentional generosity is also a tool – and the continued relationship could benefit us down the road if and when we get another opportunity to invest.

It feels better to give than to receive. Too many people have this backwards. The satisfaction of giving is much greater than receiving. Giving is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment because, put simply, you have something to give. While giving is more rewarding, the model does not work unless you also receive generously. And part of being a generous person is receiving generously. The combination of giving and receiving fosters a culture of abundance over scarcity – an abundance of teamwork, support, and thoughtfulness – We think it’s a better way to work.

To Our Readers: Thank You. If you’ve read this far, we appreciate your interest in our work. Giving and receiving generously starts with the daily practice of generosity and gratitude. We’re grateful for your support, your interest in our work, and your role in getting Loup Ventures off the ground in 2017.

We’re grateful for your support, your interest in our work, and your role in getting Loup Ventures off the ground in 2017.

You’ve been helpful beyond measure and we hope you’ve found our insights to be helpful, too. Happy Thanksgiving.

Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest: artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, and augmented reality. From time to time, we will write about companies that are in our portfolio.  Content on this site including opinions on specific themes in technology, market estimates, and estimates and commentary regarding publicly traded or private companies is not intended for use in making investment decisions. We hold no obligation to update any of our projections. We express no warranties about any estimates or opinions we make.