VC/Unpacked #6: Doing Well & Doing Good

This VC/Unpacked series curates great content that folks interested in entrepreneurship and venture capital should explore. Some are from my own must list; others have been suggested by our community.Have a recommendation for VC/Unpacked? Tell us about it.

Hi AVG Community,

It’s a false dichotomy to claim that you have to choose between being a good, analytical, hard-nosed entrepreneur and having a powerful, positive impact on society. Here are some of my go-tos for keeping perspective, balance, and meaning in my life.

Venture on,

- Mike Collins

TED Talk: Start With Why

By Simon Sinek

Like people, organizations must ask, “What’s our purpose? What do we believe in? And why should anyone care?” Sinek argues that inspired leaders all think and act from the inside out, starting with the why. First, here’s what we believe in, then here’s how and what we do. Sinek points out that speaking to the “why” communicates directly to the part of the customer’s brain that makes gut decisions. And as an entrepreneur who always tries to look at the why, I can also testify that it’s the most effective and rewarding way to innovate.



How Will You Measure Your Life?

By Clayton Christensen

Clay Christensen was a towering man both literally and much more significantly in terms of his impact on innovation — as well as on me personally. An HBS professor, he unlocked key insights about disruptive innovation that have guided my entrepreneurial journey. Here, he does the same with questions and lessons about career satisfaction, relationships, integrity, and happiness. Wherever you’re at on your life path, you’ll gain direction and meaning from this deeply felt and impactful guide to greater fulfillment.


The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now

By Thich Nhat Hanh

As he is known to his students, Thay (“teacher” in Vietnamese) shares his thoughts about living mindfully and deeply, connected to both the living and nonliving world. He brings his background as a Buddhist spiritual leader, peace activist, and scholar to this examination of what happens when we live and when we die. In helping resolve those questions, Thay makes you feel more fully alive and accepting of aging and dying. Poetic, eloquent, and profound, this meditative reflection is a joy to read and contemplate.


Alumni Ventures Group provides smart, simple venture portfolios with community to accredited individuals. PitchBook listed AVG as the most active VC firm in the U.S. during Q3 2020.

Originally published at on December 23, 2020.

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