Richard A. Moran’s latest book is available from Amazon.com
Richard Moran is a San Francisco-based venture capitalist and best-selling author. His books include Nuts, Bolts, & Jolts: Fundamental Business And Life Lessons You Must Know and Never confuse a memo with reality: a little book of business lessons.
Richard is a former partner at Accenture and serves on the boards of Accretive Solutions, Mechanics Bank and Integreon. He is also a partner at Irish Technology Capital. He is drawn to the world of venture capitalism through a passion for enterprise that leads him to compare living in Silicon Valley to be like “like living in Florence during the renaissance.”
“Excitement is in growth,” says Richard of his love of entrepreneurialism. “I think that we’re in the middle of all kinds of crazy and interesting technologies that are emerging and I want to be a part of it, so that’s what started me looking at early-stage deals.”
“There’s a phrase in the venture world, ‘There’s an infinite demand for the unavailable.’ What I try to figure out is ‘would my kids use this? Would I use it?’ I’m not the guy who’s going to understand how the semiconductor works, but I’m the guy who will understand that when the semiconductor goes into a belt that will eliminate fat whether people will use it.”
For Richard, investing in a business is about more than just the expected return, it’s about belief in the idea, and trust in the thinker behind it.
“Making an investment is a lot like getting married because when you make an investment, typically you go on the board, and you’re going to be with that person for a long time.”
“I made a transition from Accenture, which was an incredibly large organisation, into the investment world which was mostly dealing with small organisations, and I liked that because I could have a real impact on some of these small companies.”
Although Richard agrees that Silicon Valley is the epicentre of the tech world, he believes that anyone in the world with a well thought through idea can make it work.
“There’s a global network. When you wake up in Ireland with a great idea, it’s the same as it is anywhere, you may have to deal with different time zones and those kinds of things but you start networking, testing the idea, understanding how large it might be and those kind of things.”
His advice to business is not just limited to his books or to his consultancy work with companies like Apple, News Corp, Hewlett Packard and Electronic Arts. He is one of many Silicon Valley business leaders who are glad to help entrepreneurs, including those from further afield, like Ireland.
“There is myself, John Hartnett, and a lot of other guys who would kick a tyre or two just to see if it’s something feasible. I cheer for the entrepreneurs, I want to see ideas, I want entrepreneurs to succeed.”