Brad Feld

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Fantasy vs. Reality

Aug 25, 2004

Fred wrote two stories on the cliche “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” I saw it right after I responded to a few comments on my To Participate or Not post and was chewing on the notion of the behaviorial dynamics and mismatch that often occurs between investors and entrepreneurs, even when both sides are behaving as rational actors.

Amy and I have a saying that “The fantasy is better than the reality.” It comes up when incongruent situations appear in our life, where something that hasn’t yet happened appears irrationally magnificent in comparison to something that already either exists for us or something that is also a good thing and more achievable, but not as magnificent. After we chew on it for a while and think about the unintended consequences and side effects, we often conclude that we’ll stay with what we have, but enjoy thinking about the fantasy. Now – I’ve never been accused of not “going for things”, so you need to imagine “big fantasies” here.

This is a corollary to Fred’s anecdotes – which rang true with me this morning.