What if venture capitalism is simply based on Keynes’ “greater fool theory?”
From day one I knew I was an idiot. That never stopped me from asking stupid questions. Some time ago a bunch of nonicorns developed Juicero, a juice presser, a pretty complicated and expensive piece of machinery. Of course it was tasteful, sleek and ingenious, but no matter how much time I spent studying the company website, I didn’t get the appeal. In my mind I desperately wandered back and forth between my keyboard and my special kitchen drawer, the one where I keep the extra-sharp knives.
The juice is pre-pressed, why do you need an $800 juice presser? My sharp-as-a-knife knife does a better job – and much faster. No doubt in my mind the girls and boys behind the various venture capitalist outlets are extremely smart and have a highly developed business sense – a fine-tuned investment radar no muggle can match. That doesn’t answer why they invested in this particular product. Even a blunt tool such as a hammer – a bit over the top, I agree – suffices to get the pre-packaged juices flowing. In the end, I assume, these venture capitalists hark back to the great economist John Maynard Keynes, a lefty. Mr. Keynes developed the greater fool theory, meaning it’s OK to invest in almost anything, as long as you know there is someone who is willing to buy your shares for more. Why or how doesn’t matter. Functionality? Who cares about that when the streets are lined with fools of gold?
Unfortunately, average people are idiots. They don’t understand the allure of being a gold-plated venture capitalist fool. Neither can you train the masses to behave like an obedient flock. They simply don’t get the appeal of the Juicero juice press, let alone Frisco-based hipsters with ugly beards. Not that they can afford the titanium juicer anyway. Not even if they supplement their daytime income with the occasional job, moonlighting for Uber with a few rides here and there.
The greater fool theory is a lot like a pyramid scheme. Sooner or later, someone has to pay the piper. In the case of the venture capitalists, I guess they are too smart for their own good, not realizing how much dumber ordinary folk are than elite private investors.
For once, it probably is their wealth that undid the mighty venture capitalists. What investor, male or female, would risk breaking a nail, pressing a juicebox by hand in the rare event the machine refuses to do so? That is, after scanning the juice package’s QR code of course. For some, handy-work is just too complicated. If only commoners went for a manicure more often, the stables, located conveniently near the average venture capitalist’s vineyard would be full of unicorns right now. The same vineyard where “the team” makes wine the old-fashioned way, crushing grapes barefoot. Press baby, press.