Interesting article. A few thoughts as I was reading:
1. "Venture capitalists have developed an ethos that helps them make decisions under these conditions. Some of it is precious, but much of it is prescient." ... Are not most of their decisions motivated by some form of financial return for the risk they've incurred in seeding the venture. If seeding a "democratic state of affairs in a foreign country with foreign culture", how does one pose to measure "growth and profitability" [the criteria of VC's] of such an investment. Can we, really measure a democratic state of affairs in any country? Yes there exists a "democracy index", but index's and ranking are reductionists ways to create meaning of something that can't really be measured. Is America a democracy or is it a constitutional republic?
2. "And using it to reimagine the way we think of American investments in democracy abroad is just the sort of crazy idea I can't leave alone." ... Why not first look at home? American investments in "democratic processes" in the constitutional republic of America?
3. Consider: Can we reimagine the "ways of democracy" through the "ways of the venture capitalist".
Thanks for sharing. Am always a big fan of Insight Labs :-)