What you choose not to work on is as important of a decision as what you do choose to work on.
If you’ve been in the guild for long, you know that Tim and Jeremy started Platform with the mission to build groundbreaking companies that truly make a difference in the world. The challenge we have always faced is picking which areas to focus our impact. There are so many huge problems to be solved and passionate founders to solve them that limiting ourselves down to a niche seemed naive, foolhardy…even boring.
But over the last year and a half, we’ve recognized the value of clearly stating what we want to work on as a studio, even if that means saying no to amazing projects in other industries.
- It serves as a beacon to founders building in those spaces.
- It gives us a benchmark to say no to founders even if their idea might be compelling.
- It helps us recruit the best possible guild members and core team members who are eager to build companies that matter in those industries.
- It gives us more clout to attract experts in these fields to speak at events, consult with companies and help us vet new business opportunities.
With that said, we’ve decided to clarify our focus a bit. This post is meant to explain our thinking around each area, and also to break down why we are de-emphasizing a few of our existing themes.
The new themes for Platform Venture Studio
The New Economy
Climate change is the single biggest threat to humanity over the next hundred years. It feels disingenuous to say we want to build meaningful companies if we aren’t trying to build in this space. We are interested in building companies that tackle the underlying causes of global warming or the symptoms of global warming as well as companies that help humanity adapt to an already changing planet.
The New Economy
The way we make a living has changed forever. Between working remotely, working gigs on the side, and monetizing otherwise dormant assets, there is no “normal” anymore. Working a standard W-2 job will be one of many options, not the standard way of working in the future. We are interested in building companies that help people from all socioeconomic backgrounds understand and take advantage of these changes so that no one is left behind.
Social Justice is a loaded word for many people. It shouldn’t be. It is simply the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. Platform is interested in building companies that pursue equal opportunities and rights for all.
We are more connected than at any time in history, but in many ways feel more disconnected than ever. Reconnecting our communities and creating more ways for us to engage directly with our community leaders has never been more important. Platform is committed to building companies that connect our citizens, communities, and leaders.
What got left on the cutting room floor? And how come?
- Marketplaces - Marketplaces are certainly an area of expertise of Platform, but having this as a theme doesn’t address the type of marketplaces we might build. We’re also not exclusive to marketplaces. We'll include our expertise in this area when talking to founders, but it doesn't fit as a "theme" per se.
- Web3 - Web3 is a tool more than a theme. Some of the businesses we build may incorporate web3, but we're not building web3 for the sake of it.
- Venture Captial - Venture capital is obviously an area of expertise for Platform, but we’re not actively pursuing businesses that intentionally serve VC. If there is a climate startup that addresses VCs - great. If VCs are early users in something that furthers social justice - awesome. But it's not a theme in and of itself.
- College 2.0 - This concept is too small to be a theme for now. That said, College 2.0 could end up as an unmet need within Social Justice if it relates to mentorship, apprenticeship programs, and leveling people up from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Food - Foodtech is ultimately just not something we’re prepared to bite off right now :). We’ll be open to it in the future, and we may engage in food-related ideas as they relate to climate, but we aren’t specifically looking for Foodtech ideas.
So what now?
We’ll be making some shifts to the Platform website to reflect these changes and structure our Unmet Needs to align with them. We’re also putting out an active call to action for any founders, researchers, or investors in these areas to join the guild so we can build the future together.
Have questions? We'd love to hear from you!