I heard this advice today to some angel investors:
“Be careful not to become too enamored with the entrepreneur and their product”
Wrong. Painful. Couldn’t disagree more.
First of all, it’s very hard to stop yourself from becoming enamored with a founder or idea. It just happens to you. But second, most importantly, the only things worth investing in at the earliest stages are those where you are enamored with the entrepreneur and their product. Angel and early-stage investing isn’t about “traction” or about “metrics” or even frankly about “valuation”. It’s about if you love the founder and if you love what they’ve started to build! There is, yes, a functional question about whether they are either creating a sufficiently exciting market, or if they are building into a large enough TAM. But beyond that, it’s love! Sheesh. But the follow-up question to that comment was interesting:
“What about if an entrepreneur is too enamored with their technology, or their product?”
In this case, I actually agree with the premise. And to this point, I would advise you to identify the entrepreneur who is “obsessively committed to the problem, but not necessarily obsessively committed to the solution”, because great software and Internet companies often end up looking quite different than the wireframe, or v1, or blueprint the founder originally drew.