One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to read more “long-form” material. After reading Nick Carr’s scary book The Shallows I became aware that my interest and ability to read anything longer than a paragraph or a screen was atrophying, so I resolved to get back in the saddle.
Which led to my reading another great book, Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto. If you haven’t read it, do so. He shows that setting up a “checklist”-style process is essential to avoiding mistakes in areas as diverse as the surgical operating room, the cockpit of an airplane, and, yes, a VC firm.
For better or worse, the sponsor of a deal generally gets excited about it (if they don’t, it’s probably not a great deal!) and tends to, ahem, overlook certain shortcomings of the deal. Having a checklist in place is a way to make sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.