Historically, the measure of success in the venture business has been consistent top quartile performance at the fund level. Each firm generally compares their fund level performance to funds that started the same year or vintage, and if they beat the top quartile threshold put out by Cambridge Associates, they feel good about their performance. This got me thinking about whether being top quartile in other avenues of life would even be considered as “good” as we generally do in the VC/PE business. Here’s a little sampling:
From professional sports
- Major League Baseball Batting Average: There are 750 MLB baseball players making the top quartile threshold 188. That batter is Alfonso Soriano with the Chicago Cubs with an inconspicuous batting average of .270.
- NBA Scoring: There are 452 NBA players making the top quartile threshold 113. That player is Jordan Crawford of the Washington Wizards who averaged a respectable 11.7 points per game.
- U.S. State Populations: There are 50 U.S. states, with the top quartile spot being the state of Washington with 6.7 million people (with the top spot being California at 37 million).
- Country Nominal GDP: There are 181 countries listed in Wikipedia with the top quartile threshold occupied by Czech Republic with $192 billion (with the top spot being the US at $14 trillion).