Luck Plays a Crucial Role in Extreme (Venture/Startup?) Success

As seasoned venture capitalists, we frequently strive to unearth the crème de la crème of entrepreneurial talent—those brilliant minds brimming with tenacity and innovation. Yet, recent intriguing studies have uncovered a hidden gem: luck. Yes, you read correctly! It seems that while talent remains essential, fortune's favour might play an even larger role in achieving extraordinary heights.

In a groundbreaking 2018 study conducted by Italian researchers, they developed a compelling model illustrating the delicate dance between talent and luck. Although talent is undeniably important, their findings reveal that luck often holds sway over those reaching the pinnacles of success. Surprisingly enough, moderately talented individuals who experience a stroke of serendipity tend to excel beyond expectations.

These revelations hold significant weight when considering investment strategies. Investors must acknowledge the considerable impact of luck and external circumstances. No longer should we solely target the topmost talents; instead, casting a wider net could lead to increased efficiencies.

Moreover, this study sheds light on the fact that success adheres to a power law distribution, whereas talent follows a standard bell-shaped curve. Companies such as Google and Facebook owe part of their monumental achievements to sheer luck, being in precisely the right place at the right moment.

While identifying gifted founders remains crucial, we must recognise that extreme success transcends mere talent. Even an ordinary founder armed with a remarkable concept can benefit from a fortunate turn of events and surpass the most accomplished competitors. Diversifying investments increases the likelihood of capturing future blockbuster ventures. Talent and luck both matter, yet luck reigns supreme among the elite.

So, how does one discern whether a founder possesses an innate knack for luck? Perhaps by posing questions such as, "Do you consider yourself a lucky individual since your early years?" Gathering responses linked to startup performance data might yield surprising results. After all, fortune favours the bold...and perhaps the curious too!