“The sociologist of science Steve Shapin, who spent time in California observing venture capitalists, reports that investors tend to back entrepreneurs, not ideas. Decisions are largely a matter of opinion strengthened with “who you know” and “who said what,” as, to use the venture capitalist’s lingo, you bet on the jockey, not the horse. Why? Because innovations drift, and one needs flâneur-like abilities to keep capturing the opportunities that arise, not stay locked up in a bureaucratic mold. The significant venture capital decisions, Shapin showed, were made without real business plans. So if there was any “analysis,” it had to be of a backup, confirmatory nature. I myself spent some time with venture capitalists in California, with an eye on investing myself, and sure enough, that was the mold.
Visibly the money should go to the tinkerers, the aggressive tinkerers who you trust will milk the option.”
–Nassim Taleb, Antifragile