In a fascinating new book titled Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, best-selling author David Epstein writes that “relying upon experience from a single domain is not only limiting, it can be disastrous.” Elaborating, he writes:
Modern work demands knowledge transfer: the ability to apply knowledge to new situations and different domains. Our most fundamental thought processes have changed to accommodate increasing complexity and the need to derive new patterns rather than rely only on familiar ones.
As lawyers, advisors, investors and – most importantly – lifelong students – we agree.
In working with our business clients over the years, we have developed novel approaches to applying insights from a variety of domains beyond law, including through our work as angel, venture and private equity investors, our work as family business consultants, and as authors of numerous books and articles.
Varia Ventures was conceived with the belief that we could help more entrepreneurs and executives by starting with our historical (and mostly local) network of partners from other professions, industry, and academia and growing that into a national interconnected network of partners who, working collaboratively, could offer a range of diverse experiences and perspectives to help our clients flourish. Today’s digitally connected world has allowed us to do just that!
As we were building Varia with the goal of applying knowledge and experience from different domains, we soon recognized that one approach would not be enough in today’s complex world to help us accomplish our goals. As a result, we have created 3 complementary, but distinct, platforms to help three principal constituencies:
- Consulting Platform: for businesses seeking advice and counsel to help them address particular opportunities, such as improving governance practices, developing a succession plan, improving communication, etc. – as well as those that need assistance in addressing particular challenges, such as conflicts among key stakeholders;
- Venture Studio Platform: for businesses seeking growth capital at any stage, who need assistance in preparing for a successful raise, including, for example, through team building, strategy, network connections, etc.; and
- Investment Platform: for businesses that are already well-positioned to seek growth capital and are simply looking for investors.
Successful business leaders always recognized the need to bridge experience and expertise from various domains. Today’s more complicated World makes doing so – from an even wide range of domains – an imperative. Please look for our next blog as we describe a bit more specifically how we seek to help businesses with our Venture Studio Platform!
By Scott Friedman and Andrea Vossler