We Believe the Future Has a Future.
(And Here's Why.)
Nearly 40 years ago a promise was made.
1984 wouldn’t be like 1984. That promise hasn’t been kept. In fact, 2024 is now looking a lot like 1984. Too much like 1984.
Despite the halcyon vision of technology creating a democratized society of free-flowing information, efficiencies leading to enlightened economies leveling out wage and earning disparities and a populous held together via thoughtful dialogue and common understanding, we’re in a scary death spiral. Our middle class has been displaced by the unintended side-effects of new technologies. We've seen a fundamental disruption of our nation's social fabric due to stealth algorithms that have weaponized the First Amendment. And that was before we encountered the scariest possibilities of AI.
Something is rotten in our state.
And while it may be simple to try to ignore it, to pretend it will all disappear or to despair, we must fight back.
Let's remember optimism is a choice. Alsop Louie Partners is choosing it.
Not out of some fixation on rose-tinted glasses. That's not why we hold to a vision that the future can be and will be better than today.
We believe in a better future because of all the inventors, creators, thinkers, ordinary people and investors who wake up each morning like we do and they ask, "how can we improve our lives, our country, our society, our community, our planet?"
With apologies to W.B. Yeats, there are millions--maybe billions of us who believe in the future. Who believe things don't have to fall apart. Who believe the center can hold.
Believing in a better future, when you get down to it, is the single vital pre-condition of investing. Just as farmers don't plant seeds they don't fundamentally believe will grow, investors are much the same. We believe in a better future, one where we will figure out how to produce clean energy, how to manage poverty in a rich society, how to replace the structures of the past with new ones that will serve us better.
All that said, we're a bit different from investment funds of the past.
While we will continue to work hard to increase the value of the shares we hold in our portfolio companies, we approach new investments with a more judicious eye. An eye that focuses closely on much of what's gone wrong from both the "greed is good" and the "technology can do no wrong" eras.
Introducing Venture Humanism.
We're Alsop Louie Partners. Because we believe the future has a future, we believe we can always do more. While Venture Capitalists aim to promote capital development, we consider ourselves Venture Humanists.We believe that making money is good. But more importantly, we believe doing good while making money is even better.
We have not rushed to invest in generative AI or, indeed, any AI at all. That’s not because we don’t want to make money. And that’s not because we believe that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will lead to the elimination of the human race. It is because we have always believed that AI is a feature that can enhance any company’s business. And all of our portfolio companies have been exploring how to put AI, whether generative or not, to work in their work. We think that AI can lead to a better future.
Venture Humanists like Alsop Louie Partners believe in the future. And we believe every dollar we invest, every dollar we touch, every dollar we make must have a human side to it. We must move, as investors and citizens of the world, from keeping pace with tech to gaining control of tech.
For instance, technologies that like pasteurization are good for people, for an industry, for investors. Or ideas like the GI Bill. It supported builders, manufacturers, educators. Importantly, it led to the rise of the middle-class and the flowering of America's infrastructure, which at the time was second to none.
Alsop Louie Partners. Who, and Why.
Alsop Louie Partners is an investment fund that's not for everyone. Certainly, we're not for the conventional.
We are a different mix of people with a multi-layered view of our investments and the world. We're particle physicists. We're in the entertainment industry. We're, of course, finance people. Some of us have a background in government intelligence. With that studied institutional irreverence, we don't follow the dogma of the investment industry. We have the experience not to follow the crowd. We take educated risks intelligently weighed--that earn their ensuing rewards.