Venture Capital Investments Should Factor Operating Cultures…

Michael D. Moberly – April 2, 2024 – Business Intangible Asset Strategist & Risk Mitigator – Founder, Business Intangible Asset Blog & kpstrat

A business’s operating culture is an important factor to examine – assess for venture capital invest – don’t invest decisions.  Business operating cultures are publicly exhibited – conveyed to reflect brand, image, goodwill, resiliency, and mission, etc.

Through my lens, as a business intangible asset strategist operating cultures reflect collections of intangible assets, e.g., various forms, contexts, and applications of…

  • intellectual capital (knowledge, knowhow).
  • structural capital (processes, procedures), and
  • relationship capital (alliances, interactions, associations)

that convey which, who, how, why, when, and where ‘things are to be done’.

Unfortunately, business operating cultures are frequently overlooked factors to (venture capital) investments even though ‘operating culture’ is particularly relevant to innovation developed – held by startup – early-stage R&D businesses. Business Operating Cultures Are Intangible Asset Intensive… – kpstrat

Overlooking – being dismissive of business operating cultures leaves the contributory roles – value adds exhibited, aside from ‘those conducting pitches’ to be un-under-appreciated and un-under-valued. That is, unless – until risks, hiccups, and/or challenges emerge post-investment to undermine a business’s innovation and potential for success.

It’s important to note this post is not necessarily intended draw the attention of Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, or New Enterprise, the largest venture capital firms in the U.S.

Preferably instead, this post is intended to resonate with the hundreds of small – medium size investment (venture capital) firms now operating in the U.S. which focus on innovations to consider investing. How US venture capital has grown in the last 15 years (

To highlight this, readers are encouraged to consider that today and for the foreseeable, across sectors, 70-80+% of most business’s valuation, revenue generation capability, competitiveness, reputation, and sustainability lie in – emerge directly from intangible (non-physical) assets, less from tangible-physical-fixed assets. Intangibles | BrookingsUnseen Wealth: Report of the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles on JSTORIntangible Assets: Computers and Organizational Capital | Brookings)

This translates as sustainable – profitable business operating cultures are frequently interwoven collections of the right intangible assets being developed, in the right way, at the right cost, and introduced at the right time.

Through various national-international experiences and engagements on matters related to business things intangible across business sectors, irrespective of size, stage, sales, products, or services, and attending many venture capital forums as a business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigator. I have heard many glowing pitches, projections, and innocent notions about the significance of IP. Papers – kpstrat

Collectively, these experiences have influenced me to conclude that ‘business operating cultures’ are often overlooked components to investment success (vs failure). About Us – kpstrat

Operating cultures, in my judgement, are essential underpinnings to advancing – sustaining startups and early-stage businesses to become viable, sustainable, valuable, competitive, revenue generating, and ‘maturing’ enterprises.

With little debate, the more favorable each ‘descriptor’ (above) is, investment ROI probabilities are more likely to rise.   What’s The Value of Your Business’s Operating Culture? – kpstrat

Absent familiarity with a business’s operating culture and unraveling the array of risks, hiccups, and challenges which can materializes and adversely affect the ‘mission essential’ intangible assets investors prize, embarrassing realities affecting investment outcomes and reputations can emerge and cascade.

It matters how operating cultures characterize, treat, and envision how-when-where their innovation can actually contribute to business valuation, competitiveness, sustainability, durability, resilience, and revenue generation capabilities.

Investments by regional investors in small-medium size early-stage R&D and innovation will emerge for public review via attractive pitches – projections for realizing substantial ROI, providing of course that all goes well.

Investors are also obliged to recognize that despite confident pitches, projections, and portraits of relevant IP, each can be authenticated via ‘desktop’ research, and then debated in invest – don’t invest contexts.

Even well-honed prospective investment ‘assessment scorecards’ frequently frame operating cultures relative to individual leaders and/or founders respective drive and influence to ‘make it happen’. While the abilities of either are important, the broader context of operating culture may ‘describe what needs to be unraveled to reasonably ensure success.’

Still, most investment decisions come with arrays of vulnerabilities, probabilities, and criticalities in which ‘mission essential’ intangible assets may be at risk. This warrants candid and experienced examination throughout an operating culture.

Today, the v-p-c of risks materializing to adversely affect invested innovations can be qualitatively – quantitatively portrayed. As such, business operating culture’s receptivity to, as well as role and contribution to deter and/or mitigate risks warrant consideration.

Afterall, business operating cultures are important – consistent players in startup – early-stage business durability, sustainability, and investment attractivity. Preferably, discussions – examinations of business operating cultures occur in ‘up close and personal’ contexts, and not left to conjecture.

It’s important to consider the attractivity of a particular investment may be ‘pitched and marketed,’ However, loud accusations of alleged flaws to the underlying research and application – commercialization chain will affect key – mission essential intangible assets, including reputations.

Readers are invited to examine ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ a book I authored at 

Posts @ Business Intangible Asset Blog present various business economic – operational realities. Business leaders, entrepreneurs, R&D administrators, management teams, boards, and investors across sectors report benefiting from these posts, e.g., mitigating (reacting, responding to) the often ‘public – viral’ risks and challenges which produce reputational risks, are obligations with little room or time for equivocation or error.

 The Business Intangible Asset Blog was created in 2006 and now includes 1200+ topic-specific- long form posts. Posts are intended to provide readers with unique and reliable insights on current matters related to – affecting business things intangible.

 Posts at Business Intangible Asset Blog are developed – written solely by Mr. Moberly (not AI). Posts are intended to draw readers attention to the development, application, management, safeguards, and risk mitigation obligations necessary today for business’s ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.

Readers are also invited to explore other posts, along with books and papers available @ ‘Home – kpstrat


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