As with all good ideas, the idea of investing in promising business ventures became institutionalized. A few pioneering men traveled far and wide to secure anonymous partners for their first partnerships of eight to twenty million dollars. Wealthy families and a few corporations, and later endowments and pensions funds, bet on these venture capitalists. These pioneering venture capitalists became dedicated business partners of brave entrepreneurs. Initial investments were a couple hundred thousand dollars. Mitigating key risks early was the focus and making a difference was the commitment.

Whole neighborhoods sprung up in support of this new industry. Anyone who's ever been to Palo Alto, California, can doubtless understand.

It worked out pretty nicely. People with deep pockets invested in people with deep ideas. The DECs and the Tandems and the Apples were able to conquer the world thanks to their largely anonymous benefactors. Not coincidentally, the anonymous benefactors came out okay too.

Then something bad happened. For want of a better phrase, let's call it the 1990s.