Hanover's Core Values

A word about values

As the English theologian G.K. Chesterton wrote, "impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." Our values are, by design, not impartial. They are not widely accepted, and are few in number. Most people should not work in companies controlled by these values. Our values are an immune system: their usefulness is in what they reject. We believe that our values help us find, fund, and build n-of-one technology companies that make a difference in the world. 

Integrity

We aim to deliver outstanding returns for our limited partners by investing in high-integrity early-stage technology teams. The first priority of the fund is to locate and support these teams with our capital and experience. We will not pursue companies that are motivated by trends, that accept incrementalism, or that allow politics ('looking good') to impair their meritocracy. Instead, integrity in engineering is the first and most important filter.

Reliability

We cultivate a reputation for fair dealing. We refrain from overpromising and follow through on the commitments we do make — to limited partners, to portfolio companies, and to their partners. We follow through even when our cost ends up being larger than planned.

Honesty

We measure and report quantitatively. We prefer being a small part of a major success to being dominant owners of a middling company. Therefore, with our partners, investors, portfolio companies, and related parties, we default to a transparent stance with respect to our ideas, our convictions, our relationships, and our analysis. When it enhances the potential magnitude of outcome for our investors, we share our investment opportunities with others, because our purpose is to enable quality businesses, not to amass assets under management.

No free lunch. (Really.)

We believe in and rely upon the price system. We view prices as revelations of underlying truths about cost. We prefer that companies do not shrink from setting prices and help them do this systematically based on the value delivered to the customer. We also help companies understand – and over time achieve – world-class cost. 

Simple machines

We look for companies with novel technologies that deliver more output for less input relative to the current state of the art. We reject attempts to portray mere bundling, rearrangement, intermediation, aggregation, or dealmaking as ‘technology.’ When we do invest in technology platforms or intermediaries, our math needs to suggest that the total economic value of its users will exceed the value of the company that creates it, the company that we are investing in.

Wisdom of [some] crowds

We learn from the wisdom of ordinary customers, but we put little stock in the wisdom of the crowd of venture capital investors. We insist on deduping signals. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that the value of two unimaginative VCs having endorsed a company is 2x. It is closer to 0.5x.

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