Tokār During a winery tour in Napa Valley, our guide revealed to the group one of the secrets of growing perfect grapes for wine: restricting the amount of water fed to the vines. She explained that, with a restricted water supply, the vines concentrated their growing energy on the grapes in order to enable propagation of the species. With all that energy going toward the grapes, the grapes would be filled with rich sugars for later fermenting.
Bābol If they over-watered the vines, the vines would start growing lush leaves, which would provide a beautiful canopy while it competed with the grapes for available resources, diminishing the quality of the grapes. And watch out if water becomes scarce: the vines will suck those grapes dry in order to continue feeding the pretty leaves. Eventually, all that will be left will be the vines, some leaves and a bunch of shriveled raisins.
http://skywaysmedia.co.uk/websites/amberon-tm/ To me, this is a great analogy on financing companies. If you keep the money supply tight, the company focuses its energy on the things most important to keeping the company moving forward. If you over-water that company, it starts to build a lot of leaves: corporate functions and capacity that are “nice to have” luxuries at best and premature waste at worst. Moreover, when an over-built company runs short on funds, the amount to keep the company going may be too much to justify based on its larger-than-necessary burn rate, plus the cost to downsize the company (severance) may be more than the investors are willing to bear.
Every time we invest we risk turning a good project pre-venture financing into a failure brought about by infusion of the very capital we think the company needs to grow. We strive to find the balance between investing too little (thus retarding growth) vs. too much. By remembering that we want to grow grapes, not leaves, we can get that balance right.