I vividly remember speaking with my father when I was 8 years old and telling him that I was going to be a millionaire. After what seemed like forever as everything did when I was but a wee impatient young lad…my father smiled and asked, “how?” Feeling like the simple son from the Passover Seder, I abruptly walked away without answering a very fair and reasonable question.
Fast forward to my teenage years and dad called me over one day to show me a cartoon of two cavemen – a father and a son having a chat. My father (whom I admire and adore in full disclosure) with a big smile handed me the cartoon and said take a look. The caption read as follows from the son to the father, “I don’t want to hunt or gather, I want to be a middleman.” Fast forward to today and it seems that in the world of ecommerce (where I’ve built my career), and the most recent uberfication, class passification and tinderization of every entrepreneur searching for the next way to make a billion (yes with inflation my goal looks pretty small today – like Dr. Evil of the Austin Power’s movie franchise fame who failed to adjust for inflation from his cryogenically induced nap) the amounts have changed, but the quest to create, copy or build upon the next big thing for entrepreneurs has not.
Which brings me to why I decided to become a VC and to create LDR Ventures. It’s not about the millions and billions or getting wealthy – that comes if and when you are doing what you love. Wealth is more then just a dollar figure and for some it’s not monetary at all. I’ve learned through, trial and error – or in a word, real world “experience” that money does not mean happiness and the pursuit of it can lead one down a slippery slope. Now don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and by no means deprive myself or my family, but first things do come first and this is my family and our core value which is to be of service.
I decided to become a VC and create LDR Ventures because I truly love to be of service and have the good fortune of having achieved a measure of wealth and an abundance of great friends who share the same values, have achieved in business and their personal lives. With two children and on my second marriage, believe me when I tell you that true success is when there is balance. I used to think that was nonsense. And realize today that as a younger man looking to rule the world that I was not making much sense as I was not self aware.
I never met a form of currency that hugs me better then my wife and two sons and I’ve never hugged or hung on to a dollar tighter then I hug my family, friends and puppy. I became a VC to align my energy and core values – to share my experiences and let other LDR teammates do the same – to help others achieve their dreams and goals to feel what I call the hand of a higher power. You know that feeling you got when you start crying for no reason when you’ve done something special. When I watch my sons play sports or my wife help children with special needs, when taking the time to buy a meal for a person less fortunate or rescuing an animal from a shelter – I can go on and on – and in a really cool way – start up the water works. It’s a good cleanse.
So I leave you today with this. Like an investment thesis – LDR Ventures (with the help of my wife Maxi) has created a life thesis which we refer to as the five “f”s. It guides how we live and invest in life including business deals so here goes: Family, Friends, Faith, Fitness & Finance.
Maxine Kozler Koven
I have never been more proud of my husband for the man he is an the man he continues to becomes. His eyes light up when he hears a young entrepreneur with passion and enthusiasm and knows that he can make a difference in their journey. I see great things ahead for Andrew ‘Drew’ Koven and LDR Ventures.
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