I have to say “No”; alot. In fact, every one of us investor-types says “No” much more than we say yes. How we say “No” matters; alot.
Sometimes, you don’t know you have said “No” well until years after the fact. Today, I had one of those moments. Several weeks ago, Todd Vernon, founder and former CEO of Lijit and now, founder and CEO of VictorOps asked to have lunch. I didn’t ask the topic, because we’ve known Todd for a long time and because I like Todd. We had lunch today.
Today, my Partners and I at Meritage Funds announced that we’ve established a new platform in the data center colocation market. Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Digital Fortress operates nearly 50,000 square feet of data center colocation space, focused on delivering high-power density installations to enterprise customers. A Meritage Funds blog post announcing the investment has much more on our thesis and goals for the investment.
Some businesses are designed – maybe even destined – to be owner operated. Industry parlance often refers to these businesses as lifestyle businesses. Wikipedia has a nice definition. They are typically small, profitable, generate cash and enable their owner-operator to sustain a well-above average lifestyle. In some circumstances, they may even make their owner-operator filthy rich over time.
Some people may think that the term lifestyle business is an insult. I couldn’t disagree more. Being the owner-operator of a lifestyle business should be a source of pride; a badge of honor.
My Partners and I at Meritage have always had an investment mandate with broad stage flexibility. We’ve often described our investment practice as “multi-stage”, ranging from early/venture through later stage opportunities. This is in contrast to our sector preferences which are tightly and highly refined. It should come as no surprise then that we’ve been doing some soul-searching about our stage preferences.