3 Passions That Define AVG
By Mike Collins, CEO
Great companies stand for something beyond the pure commercial value they create for the economy. Below, I list AVG’s three core passions. These are the things that provide meaning to our work at AVG and we use them to guide priorities, decision making, and commitments.
All three passions center on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Those are the focus of our business of course, but in the bigger picture, they’re the economic engines of the world. Over the past 100 years, by almost every key measure—such as life expectancy, infant and mother mortality, equality—life has improved dramatically due to science, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Skeptical? Try a thought-experiment: Would you rather be born in 1918 or 2018? The world’s current problems aren’t going to be solved by going backwards, but by innovating our way forward.
Here’s what AVG is actively working to contribute:
1. More VC for Everyone
Venture capital is an asset class that’s important for more people and more diverse people to own. Listening to the ReCode Podcast between Kara Swisher and Susan Wojcicki (CEO of YouTube), one thing that struck me is that Susan struggled to invest in other women in a smart. simple way. We have work yet to do with processes, education, and outreach, but every day, we’re pushing this rock forward.
2. A Bigger On-Ramp
We believe that through education and opportunity, we can help create a more diverse venture industry in terms of investors, managers, and entrepreneurs. We define diversity in the broadest possible terms beyond race, gender, and sexual orientation to include age, educational background, personality, etc. The beauty of this passion is that it’s both the right thing and the smart thing to do. More diverse decision-making groups-operating with sound data and processes-will make better decisions and prove much more enduring.
3. More Builders, Please
Our educational system is great at producing lawyers, bankers, consultants, and point guards. We believe that the same investment should be made in producing more builders, creators, and entrepreneurs. Again, this goal serves both our own and society’s needs. As we develop young people like our interns and Venture Fellows, and they set out on their own entrepreneurial paths, the AVG community will grow into all areas of the economy.
The passions above are shared throughout AVG. They are also closely aligned with our core business and niche. These are areas where AVG has the unique ability to make a meaningful impact, especially given the synergies between them. I expect to look back in 20 years and know that AVG, to use a famous Steve Jobs phrase, put a “ding in the universe.”