Starting with the base caseJul 13th, 2023
I'm unbelievably excited to unveil our new brand and website today, in collaboration with the amazing team at basement.studio. When we started the project, their first question was one I receive quite often: "why the name basecase"? In honor of the launch, I thought I'd share my response and how it's shaped our brand.
basecase capital is an early stage venture capital firm for builders, by builders. Notice I didn't say technical founders or engineers, but builders. While some of the founders we back have gotten their PhD in Machine Learning or Masters in Computer Science, others taught themselves to code out of a sheer desire to bring their ideas to life. If you're curious, creative, and crafty enough to express yourself through product, then you're a builder.
When starting the firm, I knew the brand had to reflect this ethos. I was inspired by some of the venture firms that had been named after complex technical terms like Y Combinator, but also wanted the name to be approachable to all of the builders out there.
A base case refers to a starting point or fundamental assumption used in a particular problem-solving process. It's a concept commonly used in mathematics and computer science.
In math, for example, the base case often refers to the initial step in a proof by induction, where one proves a statement for a particular case, then proves that the statement also holds for larger or more complex values. The base case serves as the foundation for the rest of the proof.
In computer science, the base case is often used in recursive algorithms, which call themselves repeatedly with smaller and smaller inputs until they reach the base case, which can be solved directly without recursion. In this case, the base case serves as the foundation for the algorithm.
But the term base case isn't confined to such uses. In fact, we use the concept of a base case quite often in everyday life when solving problems or making decisions. For example, when defining product requirements, the base case might be the simplest way to allow the user to accomplish the goal.
basecase capital exists to help founders with their own base case: hiring their first engineers, closing their first customers, and raising their first round of funding. I believe this is the foundation needed to solve the more complex problems that come with scaling a company.
Finally, the name "basecase" feels particularly appropriate given the stage at which I invest. Day to day, I spend 99% of my time with folks who are not actively fundraising. Some may start a company in six months, other in six years, and a few probably never will. But by building these deep, unconditional relationships with the brightest engineers, product builders, and ex-founders, I can earn the right to be their first call if and when they do decide to start something. That's my base case.