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Investing is more "psychology than finance" early on

Investing is more "psychology than finance" early on

My top 7 takeaways from the conversation with Scott Hartley.

Last week, we chatted with Scott about entrepreneurship, early stage investments, the Fuzzy and Techie book, and many different topics. When I started writing this post, I couldn't remember when we first met and looked back at our emails. We corresponded for the first time in 2012 when he was at Mohr Davidow Ventures. Even though we did not meet physically over the years, we kept in touch regularly about entrepreneurship.

In 2017, Scott was one of our keynote speakers at Startup Istanbul but could not come at the last minute due to the visa crisis. During the pandemic, we had the chance to communicate and make investments with Scott more frequently. He and Jenny are doing great work at The Fund and Everywhere Fund. I also carry their vision of investing globally in early stage startups. I think we have very parallel ideas on this subject.

The Fuzzy Meets the Techie: My Chat with Scott Hartley

Scott believes liberal arts are key for technology innovation.

But technical skills are still needed to bring creative ideas to life.

How do we blend these mindsets in the future?

I had an insightful discussion with Scott Hartley, author of The Fuzzy and the Techie, on combining technical and creative abilities.

7 Learnings from My Scott Hartley Conversation

1. Why We Need Both Fuzzies and Techies

Fuzzies - skills like critical thinking and empathy

Techies - coding, data analysis

As tech advances, jobs need more fuzzies but require techies to build it.

2. The Future of Work Amid AI Rise:

As AI and technology advance, the need for more human skills is driven up.

Jobs won't disappear, but the tasks within those jobs might change or be automated, requiring a new set of skills and adaptability.

3. The Enduring Value of the Liberal Arts

Teaches critical thinking and empathy needed as AI advances.

Need people to spot bias, ask hard questions, apply ethics.

4. Real-World Fuzzy-Techie Collaboration

Anthropologist helped Nissan with self-driving cars by understanding human behavior.

Dancer/roboticist created "choreobotics" to make robots move more gracefully.

5. Evaluating Startups Holistically

As an investor, Scott looks at founder grit, ethics, desire to solve problems - not just technical specs.

He says venture capital is more "psychology than finance" early on.

6. The Importance of Investing in World-Positive Companies:

Investing isn't just about making money.

It's about backing world-positive companies that can have a significantly positive impact, not just on the market, but on society as a whole.

7. Developing Authentic Global Relationships

Scott spots global opportunities by listening to his diverse founder network built over decades.

Focuses on genuine long-term conversations rather than quick hits.


As we navigate through an ever-evolving global landscape, it's clear that the intersection of technology, liberal arts, and entrepreneurship is leading us to uncharted territories.

The future holds exciting possibilities and challenges.

The key takeaway?

Stay open, stay curious, and embrace a well-rounded perspective.

Scott Hartley, a notable venture capitalist and startup advisor, is the co-founder of Everywhere Ventures and has invested in over 500 companies worldwide. With a background spanning Google, Facebook, the White House, and top venture capital firms, Scott's evolution from techie to fuzzy showcases his belief in combining technical skills with humanities education. He is the author of "The Fuzzy and the Techie," a finalist for the McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize, and has delivered over 50 keynote speeches on innovation for major global organizations.

If you want to follow Scott Hartley, you can access his Substack articles here. You can take a look at his regular articles on Linkedin here. If you haven't read Fuzzy and Techie, you can find it here.

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