I’ve never played bridge (though I have played Euchre, the simplified version – along with other “trick-taking” games like Hearts, Spades, Pinochle, and even Bid Whist), but I loved the always-outstanding Alex Danco’s argument that bridge is a far better metaphor for venture capital than poker:
To be good at bridge, you have to master the dual nature of your bids: they’re both commitments and signals. Bidding is how you coordinate with your partner, iterate towards an agreement, commit to a hand, and then build on top of that hand to go win the next one. Sophisticated bridge players have built muscle memory for what every signal means, and what are the commonly understood conventions for how to interpret them in context.
This should sound familiar to anyone who works in tech! It’s similar to the interaction between founders and VCs as they iteratively raise money, round by round. When a VC issues a term sheet, they’re doing two things. First, it’s a literal commitment: if that term sheet is accepted, they have to put up money, and then help the founder realize that valuation over the coming 12-18 months.