Venture capital firms invest money in companies they believe have potential for success, and in return get a share in the future profits. Consulting firms invest their time and energy in making companies successful, and in return get a fixed payment. It occurred to me over the summer while working at a VC firm that consulting firms have missed an opportunity. If consulting firms were to invest their time and energy in return for a share in the future profits of client companies, they would benefit from significantly more profit potential. Furthermore, using the VC model, revenues from a diversified portfolio of companies that the consulting firm has “invested” in would minimize the impact of the natural ebbs and flows of consulting work and revenues. (Consulting firms depend on a consistent supply of work to maintain their operations.) From the client’s point of view, they can count on the best services because the consultant is fully invested. Hours worked or length of project are less relevant because the consultant is motivated to continue to do what is necessary for the company to succeed. If the consulting is unsuccessful and profits don’t go up, it doesn’t cost the company anything. This relationship would be particularly attractive for start-ups who don’t have the cash to pay consulting fees, but the potential for future profits. I was happy to see that this model is being successfully employed by Fuseproject. The founder of Fuseproject, Yves Behar, is quoted, “We look for companies and situations where we can create a lot of value.” I believe this points to the greatest benefit from the blended VC/consulting model: It most efficiently matches clients with the consultants that expect to make the biggest impact.