There is an interesting argument going on in the venture world about whether algorithms are better investors than people. The issues are well summarized in a recent Fortune article.
The basic premise is whether it makes more financial sense (measured by fund IRR) to spend the time getting to know the team, cultivate the idea and support the growth as opposed to use some fancy formula to look over the competitive landscape and determine whether a disruptive idea has the potential to create significant value if you only throw enough money at it (think Uber).
Personally, I am much more interested in the old school model of 'finding and minding' an investment by putting in the time with founders to make it all happen. I have friends who have successful 'hands off' portfolios, where they might attend a board meeting once a quarter, but generally have little contact with the day-to-day operations of their portfolio companies.This does not sound like a lot of fun to me.
Of course, probably half my portfolio runs quite well without me, but I carefully chose the founders up front and have confidence that they can manage without my help, unless they call with specific requests. The other half I am involved in, often on a weekly basis. It's what I like to do and if I can add value, then I can help my investments be successful.
While I can appreciate the profit maximization approach to venture capital, it just doesn't create the value I am seeking--helping companies and people be successful by giving back the knowledge others gave to me over my lifetime. I guess that's what old guys think about in their later years...but it works for me...and many of my portfolio companies. I'll stick by it.