Though we come from the venture-capital world, we're not exactly "venture capitalists." We prefer to think of ourselves as "mentor capitalists," closer in spirit to the approach pioneered by Tom Perkins in the '70s. The difference isn't just a matter of semantics.

Today, most venture capitalists target ventures chasing big markets with disruptive technologies, existing reference-able customers and an experienced management team. The line outside the door of such ventures is often long.

We focus earlier tipping the odds of success in our favor in four ways. First, through extraordinarily careful evaluation of the person and the idea ahead of time. Second, by helping optimize the market opportunity. Third, by being dedicated and thoroughgoing business partners with a disciplined approach to company building. Lastly, by encouraging capital efficiency, using appropriate financings and investing through liquidity. Our commitment and deep involvement with every aspect of the companies we back enhances our hit rate.