Commenters on my previous post have correctly pointed out that a logic puzzle is probably a weak indicator of VC skills. So what is a strong indicator of success? The question reminded me of an encounter in 1990...
The first person I ever met from Bessemer was Neill Brownstein, one of Silicon Valley's pioneer venture capitalists (with investments like Ungermann Bass, Telenet, Maxim, Veritas and BusinessLand). At that interview, he asked me this question:
What do you think is the most common trait among successful venture capitalists?
I thought hard, trying to impress him. "Deep industry domain knowledge."
"No," he said.
"Um, analytical skills?"
Uh oh, I started grasping. "Rich network of contacts? Operating experience? Engineering background? Financial background? Skepticism? Patience? Sense of Urgency? Salesmanship? Decisiveness?" (the last of which I clearly didn't display)
"I give up. What is it?"
I have since followed Neill's advice.
Coincidentally, the second most important factor, I now believe, is a strong, stable platform with great mentors (like Neill and Felda) and smart partners.