Romantic defined in the classical sense does not indicate lust or passionate revelries but rather any sense of overt display of emotion that transcends boundaries. Romance, when utilized in the context of romantic literature represents the confluence of Manichean boundaries, as nothing is ever black or white. It encompasses stories story of the mysterious, the adventurous, and unreal- from the innovations of Shelley's Frankenstein to William Blake's tales of getting lost in London where he finds home.
Innovators serve as the Byronic heroes challenging conventional norms of society each and every day. They write the larger than life stories than some can only dream of, as they sit back and read. Steve Jobs, Charles Flint, Mark Zuckerberg to the innovators of finance itself in VCs and hedge funds are born here. The term hedge as in hedge fund itself derives from the Anglo Saxon word “hedge”, utilized to mark enclosures of land in the first indications of property and ownership. At times it is questionable if the land in innovation is the technology produced, or the idea its model is built upon.
Romantic literature permeates each and every one of these technological discoveries as they are predicated on pressing forward human innovation through the otherness– the alternative sense of consciousness in AI, computers, or community that is larger than self. It permeates through the financial lens that powers this valley, as it is only through questioning the boundaries of finance and returns that the impossible with currency can be achieved and enclosed lands generate impossible returns. The founder of the hedge fund himself, Alfred Winston Jones, the man no one can keep up with was a romantic sociologist that understood that the truth was in betting in both wins and losses, and thus one can never lose.
The core of romantic thought is understanding that financial metrics is not the only evaluator of a business’s success- it is about the legacy that Frankenstein hopes to leave behind. May he be kind, passionate and inspirational in his speeches and not an adamant reader of Voltaire and spurned from the childhood he was deprived of. May innovators and capitalists utilize talent to foster a culture of kindness, free thought, and collaboration, to be leaders in breaking the mold of not only past businesses but find ideas that fuel critical thought and passion to come.