Why the Name Lateral Capital?


The investing philosophy of Lateral Capital is modeled on the thinking of Edward de Bono, one of the foremost modern-day experts on conceptual thinking. de Bono is credited with developing the concept of “Lateral Thinking”:

“Vertical thinking is selective, while lateral thinking is generative.
Rightness is what matters in vertical thinking.
Richness is what matters in lateral thinking.
Vertical thinking selects a pathway by excluding other pathways.
Lateral thinking does not select, but seeks to open up other pathways.”

The use of Lateral Thinking underlies our approach to Early Stage investing. We believe that:

  • Transferring technology solutions from one industry to another can result in extraordinary outcomes.
  • Mistakes made in one investment can be avoided in others – if you are open about sharing them.
  • New problems can be solved by old solutions – if the problem can be reduced to its’ essence.

Over time, de Bono’s insights have also taught us how to think about managing a significant number of very different investments at the same time – by using de Bono’s definition of “expertise”:

“An expert is someone who has succeeded
in making decisions and judgements simpler
through knowing what to pay attention to
and what to ignore.”

In short, we believe Lateral Thinking leads to a differentiated view of which businesses are most likely to succeed and how we can be helpful to them.