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Dec 6, 2022 ·5 min read

Investors are like Buses too

“Deals are like buses. There’s always another one coming.”

It’s a phrase I’ve heard many times from venture capitalists, angels and every day investors.

But the one thing I’ve seen time and time again is that great startups are definitely not like buses. They are rare. They are extremely difficult to find and ideate. And most times brutally hard to get off the ground, bring to life and get profitable. To top it off, usually the better the idea or the better the startup, the more push-back and difficulty there is in bringing that idea to life.

It’s a simple formula…

the Greater the Idea, the Harder it is to make it happen.

Helen Keller said it best: “ The finest steel gets sent through the hottest furnace. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. “

It goes for startups too.

So if great startups are in reality difficult to create, find, and get off the ground…why is there a prolific use of the phrase in the venture capital and investor community that “deals are like buses, there’s always another one coming”?

I would think it’s a phrase these people, the VCs, the angel investors use as an easy way to pass on most or all deals that cross their desk. Because I would hope from their viewpoint there is actually “always another one coming”.

But from experience, I’ve seen something different being out in the field. Side by side with other entrepreneurs also bringing startups to life. The phrase “there’s always another one coming”, many times seems to be an artificial wall or objection or defense mechanism that is a reaction by many of these VCs, Angels and supposed Investors. It’s apparent that “there’s always another one coming” is really code for a couple things:

  1. 1)  I just don’t get what you’re saying
  2. 2)  I’m really not an investor, yet play one on TV
  3. 3)  I have a vested interest in what you’re trying to disrupt, so no way will I touch this
  4. 4)  Please go away because you didn’t go to the same school as me
  5. 5)  Please go away because you don’t live in my neighborhood
  6. 6)  Please go away because you don’t sound like me, look like me, or talk like me.
  7. 7)  Please go away because you weren’t an “introduction”
  8. 8)  I don’t have money

Notice only a few of these things may actually have to do with your idea or startup. Number 1 and maybe Number 3. The rest are basic B.S. So while I agree there may be many bad ideas and startups that are like buses. While there may be many “me too” deals that are like buses. While there may be many incomplete deals that don’t make sense and may be like buses. Great, good, or even above average startups are definitely not like buses. They are the polar opposite.

On the other hand, I tend to think investors are like buses.

  1. * Investors move slowly, like buses.
  2. * Investors usually aren’t independent thinkers and go with the crowd, like buses.
  3. * Investors are usually quite rigid in how they behave, like buses.
  4. * Investors aren’t usually the best way for you to reach your destination, like buses
  5. * And most importantly, investors are like buses because there’s always another one coming.
  6. * Always another one coming.

So if you hear “the phrase” or get blown off with “the phrase”, take it with a grain of salt and move forward. Because as an entrepreneur, when you are going through that insanely hot furnace that Helen Keller was talking about, just remember…the better your idea, the hotter the furnace.

Just keep going.

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