I try to write every single day.
I don't get paid to do this - I do it because I enjoy it. It's common sense that I should play to my strengths ! I find the more I write, the easier it becomes - I don't think of it as being work. Perhaps if someone paid me to do it , I'd most probably stop . As Mark Twain pointed out, it's fun doing things when you want to , but no fun when someone makes you .
I have found that if I want to learn something new, the best way is to write about it. In order to explain something, I need to first understand it , so writing helps to keep my mental faculties sharp and focused - it's a great way of learning a lot. The good thing is that because there is so much new stuff to learn every single day, there will always be something to write about.
I do it because I tell all my founders that they need to be posting on a regular basis, and I need to set a good example - there's very little point my telling them what to do if I don't do it myself.
My daughters are studying , and I tell them that in this day and age, everyone needs a digital portfolio - resumes are passe. Your writing lets others understand how you think.
So why doesn't everyone write ? Why do most people just read ? There are multiple reasons for being passive. For one, they find writing an onerous task. They find it burdensome, and are worried that their grammar may be incorrect. They are also scared of trolls and criticism, so while they are very articulate in private, they refuse to share their views in public. Some of them want to hoard their wisdom; while others feel they really don't have anything new worth saying.
I believe everyone has something of value to share, and writing is a great way to reach out to other people . Fortunately, I don't need to look for a job, so I can afford to be politically incorrect and call a spade a spade. Everyone talks about the world being flat, but if you don't exploit this by connecting with a global audience, then what difference does this make to you? Writing on LinkedIn helps me forms connections with people who have similar interests , which is great. It also helps me to read the opinions of people who disagree with me, and this helps me to acquire disconfirming evidence, which helps me to overcome my cognitive biases.
Finally, I write because you are reading this, which means hopefully you find what I say of some value.
So when will I stop?
I'll call it a day when I find that I'm repeating myself, or if I start rambling, or if I stop enjoying it.
Since I am a doctor, why don't I restrict myself to writing only on health issues ? The startup ecosystem is new for me and I need to learn about it. By writing about my experiences as an angel, I can help to educate other people about what happens behind the curtains. Hopefully , my perspectives will help investors and founders to do a better job, because I'm hoping to bridge the gap between them, so that they can see the world through the other's eyes. Sharing viewpoints can be valuable.
Yes, I do get an ego kick out of this as well. It's fun getting lots of likes ( a trait which LinkedIn exploits to the hilt !); and the comments which thoughtful readers post expressing their personal perspectives helps me to become smarter.
Do I have a selfish reason? Yes, hopefully I'll get a book at the end of all this. I'd like to call my book 'The Founder's Advocate' because even though I'm an investor, I firmly believe that the only reason funders exist is because there are entrepreneurs , and we need to encourage them as much as we can.