In the book “The Archangels’ Share” the remarkable inside story of Archangels, the oldest and one of the biggest business Angel syndicates in the world (Available from Amazon – http://amzn.eu/dSd8NJC) there is a story about one of the groups founders complaining bitterly to another when his first investment, which had been described at the start as a “slam-dunk”, failed in a rather spectacular fashion within weeks. Having listened to the “incandescent” rage his fellow investor responded with “For heaven’s sake, where’s your sense of humour”!
They both must have had one, as 20 years later they are still investing.
Angel investing is significantly about money, and money is a serious thing. But Angel investing is about more than just a financial transaction, and few people who stick at Angel investing over the long term are only, or indeed primarily, focussed on financial return. Putting something back, meeting interesting people, and critically “having some fun” are usually to be found at the top of the list of motivations to be involved in this often crazy activity. Those most suited to Angel investing tend to be individuals who don’t take themselves too seriously, and who do maintain their sense of humour, while at the same time being entirely professional in their Angel activities.
These characteristics are epitomised by John Huston, who founded Ohio TechAngels in Columbus in 2004 and grew it to be one of the world’s largest Angel investor groups with more than 340 members. Internationally, John is well known as the past Chairman of both the ACA and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) and as the recipient of the Hans Severiens Award for angel leadership. A hugely entertaining speaker, John has produced seminal works on effective Angel investing, notably in relation to post investment mentoring and the exit process. A serious investor, what comes through John’s writings is his sense of humour. Something he somehow managed to maintain despite his 30-year commercial banking career. John’s sense of humour, and a determination to tackle Angel investing professionally, but not to take it so seriously that it’s not fun anymore, has found expression in his recently published “100 Hustonisms”. Some short sharp comments on Angel investing for those, like John and the Archangel founders, who have maintained both their sense of humour and their appetite for Angel investing.
LINC is very grateful to John for allowing us to share his humour and publish the Hustonisms, for, as John writes “In the theme park of finance, angel investing is the fun house”.
Read the Hustonisms here: