Chapter 6

Finding Focus Areas

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Focus Areas are the foundation of our work, essentially forming the investment thesis for a sector. So how do we get to them?

It’s our job as venture designers to make bets about the future. Will e-scooters inherit the earth? Will everything end up on the blockchain? In life only two things are certain: death and taxes (and even that’s up for debate). So how do we defy uncertainty? The short answer is we can’t, but we can certainly have opinions about the future based on what we observe today.

So how can we form these opinions? Osmosis.

Osmosis is the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.

It may seem like a cop out, but the best way to form these opinions is to create opportunities to have them in the first place.

  • Following relevant conversations on Twitter
  • Reading articles and thought pieces
  • Attending industry events
  • Subscribing to relevant industry reports
  • Sector expert interviews

Creating time and space to think to form opinions is just as important as creating time and space to put pen to paper.


The markets that we can play with are largely defined by the sectors that our partners sponsor. They’re usually:

  1. Markets that are partners are already in
  2. Peripheral or adjacent markets
  3. New markets they wish to enter

This can give us quite a bit of flexibility. For example you could draw a line from insurance with Aviva to mortgages.

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