It’s reshuffle day in the UK as Government Ministers get hired, fired and moved around. It struck me as I looked through the ups and downs this morning that it’s the first major one of this Government. A lot of Ministers have been in post for four years and quite a few held the same brief in opposition. Compared to the Tony Blair days, that’s a lifetime. Most summers would involve moving people around and the whole of the think tank world (where I worked at the time) would spend the day working out where it left them.
Four years is also apparently the average tenure of a Fortune 500 CEO. In this interview with Vinod Khosla, Larry Page laments the fact that you really can’t get much done in four years — 20 years is closer to the mark for him. I’m not advocating 20 year Government posts — there’s a good reason for changing them around — but having people do a job for just a couple of years makes long term planning very hard to do.
It feels very different in the startup investment world. You have to think over longer time periods by default. We’re still working with all the startups and founders that we worked with three years ago when we started and expect to do so for very many more years. I’m looking at our plan at the moment and that goes to 2025.