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When we launched SparkLabs Global Ventures two years ago, we faced a lot of uncertainty and risk as a new seed-stage fund. How would the chemistry work out between the six partners? How would entrepreneurs respond to our vision and team? How would investors respond to our thesis as a global seed-stage fund?

After two years, we’ve invested in 54 companies across five continents and backed many inspiring and awesome entrepreneurs. We’ve also learned a lot from those entrepreneurs, industry veterans, and each other. We had a recent discussion as a team (HanJoo Lee, Frank Meehan, Net Jacobsson, Jimmy Kim, Jay McCarthy, and myself), wrote down a laundry list of all the things we’ve learned along the way so far, and whittled it down to the top 12 lessons we want to keep top of mind:

1. Team decisions work. While it’s difficult to track the success rate of our decision process (all six partners have to say yes to an investment) versus an individual partners’ success rate, we’re confident that our process has led us to the best decisions. Over the years, I’ve conducted dozens of survival simulation training sessions, which examine decision-making by groups versus individuals in harsh, life-threatening environments (i.e. Death Valley or Antarctica). I have never experienced a session in which an individual scored higher than the group. Regardless of free riders or having a few weak links on a team, the team decision prevailed and scored higher in the probability of