While our watchword is focus, there's something else we do that we call "pilot investing." It's not inconsistent with our larger mission; in fact, it's an important adjunct.

Our pilot investments are those that we can't justify on purely intellectual grounds. They come from the instincts and experience we've built up over the years. Call them hunches. Attribute them to our entrepreneurial antennae.

A man or a woman has a business idea that, quite simply, moves us. Likely it's unconventional, perhaps strange. The world will say it can't be done or makes no sense. But we know from private and public investment history of Microsoft, Netscape, Oracle and Cisco that world is sometimes wrong. If he or she is worthy, then we think the venture is worthy of at least a small investment of capital and a little time.

We don't overload on these kinds of investments and they are not board level commitments, but they deserve our attention. Think of them in the same way as spices in cooking. They might not work out, but when they do, get ready to be wowed. And if you don't try them, you may miss the next Google.