About Intellectual Ventures

Some excerpts from an interview of Nathan Myhrvold (about his company Intellectual Ventures):

"What I decided to do was create the invention capital model. Making funding invention an investment. Imagine this. That there is an invention capital industry that raises billions of dollars a year to fund inventions, not startups. (...) we don’t create a company. We don’t ask for an idea. If you go to the venture capitalist, they expect you to come with an idea, a plan and a team. But if you go to them and say you don’t have an idea yet, they will say to come back when you have one (...) One of the things about my current business is that it will need to be ten years. We have a get rich slow scheme because it requires tremendous patience if you’re going to invest in really important research and invention. If you want to do really big stuff, you have to plan things that are some number of years away from reality. We plan for the closest something that is five years away from being a product. Some of that is pragmatic. Most of the engineers out there plan for the zero to three years range. That’s the nominal time. Obviously things slip and take longer than three years. Almost nobody works on stuff that is five years out. So if we work that way, it gives us a huge advantage. It lets us conceptualize things that are much more radical. The downside is that it may take you five years before anyone is interested."

Why do I blog this? was trying to understand what Intellectual Ventures was doing after chatting about it with a friend. Intriguing company, curious model.