I recently watched both of the Terry Cross interviews on MichiganInnovators.org and am better for taking the time to do this. Terry Cross has been angel-investing for 46 years and has “learned a few things” in his time. I learned more about how angel investing works from watching these interviews than I knew before. It’s true that I was pretty limited in what I knew about this topic. The interview questions and answers were precise and informative as well as clear and understandable. I felt so educated by these interviews that I wanted even more detail on how Terry thought.
Terry talked about how an entrepreneur needs to perform risk mitigation before he really begins to take them seriously. I have never written any sort of business plan yet but I am glad I listened to this interview before doing this. Terry made clear exactly how he expects the funded entrepreneur to think through his plan. I plan on taking my plan through the same rigor that Terry laid out in the interview. The litany of “things that can go wrong” was not supposed to be taken as a fear-inducer. The point was to give your business plan more direction. It can also allow the business plan to remind you of those pitfalls as they occur. Clear thinking early in the process might be better than panic thinking when the problem arises. Maybe..
I found it to be a very cogent and clear way to think through risk in a way that will benefit your plan and the investor. Then I got the feeling that risk becomes the guide at this point. Is this a true statement? I’m wondering if risk should be the right guidance factor for any business? I am naturally risk-averse, but born and raised a Roman Catholic, so there is a natural avoidance of any sort of “control”. It’s more palatable to me to see risk as a strong guidance mechanism, but I cannot accept that risk is the “point” of the whole enterprise.
Overall, the interviews gave me a number of great ideas and was HIGHLY educational for me. Glad to have the opportunity to have viewed them.