Investors have no idea that when they maltreat one startup, they’re preventing 10 others from happening, but they are. Indirectly, but they are. So when investors stop trying to squeeze a little more out of their existing deals, they’ll find they’re net ahead, because so many more new deals appear.
One of our axioms at Y Combinator is not to think of deal flow as a zero-sum game. Our main focus is to encourage more startups to happen, not to win a larger share of the existing stream. We’ve found this principle very useful, and we think as it spreads outward it will help later stage investors as well.
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