Never conflate driving and amplification factors.
Found this on Twitter.
It turns out that Lighter Fluid I think is the perfect metaphor for Venture Capital — not Gasoline. Why? Well, lighter fluid is indeed super helpful for starting fires… dump a little on some kindling … throw a match in, it lights faster and better / kicks things off. It absolutely helps accelerate your time to ‘fire’. It is quite a useful (and fun!) tool. That said, if you dump lighter fluid on a wet log… or really any fire that isn’t well built, then you at best get a nice jolt of fire / show for a few seconds, before the fluid all burns off and you are left with nothing. No fire… just a brief show and lots of wasted lighter fluid. People like to say that Venture Capital is Gasoline… but that really isn’t true. With enough Gas you can make anything burn… logs / even wet ones … will eventually catch — dump enough fuel it works… but that isn’t really how VC works. What you need for dollars to be meaningful is for the fire to be primed, the logs to be dry — the product-market fit to be real, the fire to be well vented and built. Then you throw a little ‘VC’ lighter fluid on top to make things go bigger faster.
Links to this Evergreen Note