Why we exist
We believe we are seeing the beginnings of profound changes in the way work works. Our investor, Bloomberg L.P., wants to support and understand these changes. Backing and building startups is a wonderful way to do that, so we created Bloomberg Beta.
Why are we sharing our operating manual?
Bloomberg Beta is a new fund, and (we hope) a new kind of fund. As we started working, we agreed to write down some of our practices -- mostly as notes to ourselves. Then we realized we spend a lot of time in meetings with entrepreneurs repeating these things, and that isn't a good use of our time or theirs.
So, why not just share our practices, our operating manual. Then others can suggest changes, ask questions, or just read it and save time. Few things are so precious as the time of an entrepreneur -- we want entrepreneurs to spend less time raising money and more time building their product, or (maybe even) with friends and family.
We believe the rewards to being open are worth the cost. Trust is the foundation for our approach -- anything that enables founders to know us better speeds the building of trust.
What we want
We want every company we back or create to have a shot at being extraordinary, and as many as possible to live up to that promise.
We want to invent new ways of creating companies, suited to the speed and unpredictability of technology. We want to live on the frontier of experiments in new models for entrepreneurship, use of capital, leadership, and the nature of work generally.
We hope our companies support each other, with the same respect that we as a team have for them.
We hope our companies treat their people, their users, their partners, and their founders well at all times, even when they don’t succeed. We hope they learn, and that we do too.
Who we are
How should you use this document?
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to understand if we’re a fit for you, we want this document to dispense with most of the questions of fact and many of the subjective questions of style, beliefs, and approach. Then, if you spend time with us, you can focus on getting past the basics. If you want a summary version, that’s our website.
We also want everyone to help make us better, the kind of investor you’d want to have -- and we think that exposing our approach in public is a terrific way to get reactions and evolve.
Thank you to our entrepreneurs and friends who read the private version and helped us strengthen it; thanks in advance to anyone who reads it now that it's public, comments on it, forks it, or otherwise helps us get better.
So here you are. When in doubt, as they say, read the (ahem) manual. :)
This manual is open sourced under a Creative Commons license.