Nadia Asparouhova

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Es Muss Sein

Milan Kundera’s novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, uses the phrase “Es muss sein” (“It must be”, in German) to explore how we make our most meaningful choices in life.

We do not make them out of free will; our choices are an inescapable fate, an “imperative enslaving us”.

Es muss sein comes from Beethoven’s String Quartet no. 16. The fourth and last movement, entitled “Der schwer gefasste Entschluss” (“The Difficult Decision”), tumbles over itself at an increasingly faster pace: –“Muss es sein?” (“Must it be?”) –“Es muss sein!” (“It must be!”).

When I joined Collaborative Fund a year ago, I joined to work on a growth fund that could serve as a stable, moderate-return alternative to traditional venture capital. Several months in, it became clear that where I was most needed was not working on experimental alternatives but in deploying our seed stage fund. Because I loved (and still love) what Collaborative stands for, I resolved to do the best I could on a role that supported those overarching goals.

For the past year I have tried to avoid my fate. But we can’t ignore the things that scream most loudly in our heads, even when our paper lives seem to check all the boxes.

This is my last week at Collaborative Fund. I still believe, strongly, in the power of good people in venture capital. To date, I have never been at a place that aligns with my vision for the world so well. And I am incredibly grateful to Kanyi, Craig, Daniel and everyone else - founders and investors - who taught me so much this year. Venture capital showed me the weird and wonderful nature of the human condition. It also gave me deep faith in the capacity of my fellow humans for kindness and generosity.

What’s next? Finding new ways to direct capital towards valuable ideas that power the internet. If you want to talk about it, I’m all ears.