To understand this post you are going to have to first go and read Max's post as well as Mark's initial post. Go ahead....I'll wait. The response below to Max was simply too long as a comment on his Facebook post and I prefer to share it with everyone.
Max, first things first: I am not trying to argue in one direction or the other but technically you are not investing in "dots" if you truly are doing extensive references. Let me clarify using the analogy I have for years: fundraising in the VC space is like dating. Mark too kind of makes this reference. Getting the investment from a VC is ultimately the marriage and as many have said, a divorce is usually easier than separating from a VC.
But back to the point.....let's pretend dating were basically seeing someone at the bar, having a couple drinks, going home to hit the sack and then right after a quick breakfast heading out to get married. That to me is a "dot" event. When you do extensive reference calls on someone, you are adding a time component to the equation and are gathering information, albeit quickly. You are not meeting someone and investing the next day. Sure, you may not spend six months (or two years) getting to know them but you are doing your homework. I often advise younger guy friends when dating that they better check out their gf's mom before marrying her because that most likely is whom you'll have at home in 20 years....a quick reference check. Same goes the other way for women and their potential husbands. But no matter how extensively you get to know someone, there is that "phase" before they marry you where they put on their best face...be it a couple days or a couple years. Therefore, I'd argue that your extensive references give you far more information and I happen to be someone who also sees the huge benefit of talking to people about the person whom you plan to fund.
Ultimately, so many factors will determine whether your marriage works or not (or your investment). But back to the entrepreneurial side of things: founders as well as VC's change. Businesses work or don't and there are so many events which effect the outcome....founders and teams will either evolve or they won't. Funds too change and partnerships evolve....your VC may not be whom you initially jumped in bed with after their partnership starts falling apart or the fundraising for an additional fund goes sideways. This is irrelevant of a dot or line decision. There is so much chance involved that picking to either invest in lines or dots is almost irrelevant and will often vary deal by deal.
Yet, most importantly both you and Mark are right. I know a ton of people who have married after short flings as well as folks who spent years dating. Without having done extensive analysis and simply viewing the statistics, about half get it right, which ever way they want about making the ultimate decision. VC's have the benefit of adding a portfolio strategy to the fold and invest in ten or twenty companies out of one fund. This minimises risk and increases your chances of success and more likely influences things than dots verses lines. More importantly, wouldn't we all be better off if we too could marry ten to twenty partners and end up picking the one which worked out best? ;-)