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« Investment firms seek buyout of SunGard - Computerworld | Main | Podcast Reveals Solstice Details »

Mar 23, 2005


Steve Shu

Jeff, how do you really feel on this subject? The poor next portfolio company that has to deal with you is gonna get the triple ratchet in the term sheet ...


I really do think a lot of VC's are assholes... but they were that way before they got into the business :)


Interesting. Well, Mayfield seems to have a rep for being nice; my (admittedly limited) experience with them confirms that sentiment.


Wouldn't it be rational to expect anyone that is chased by a lot of people who want something out of him/her to become less open and friendly just as a defence mechanism.
I've read a lot of blogs by VCs and they consistently seem to be OK people and some are actually pretty cool.
Of course if i were trying to get financing and failing then i might interpret my experience to mean that ALL VCs are jerks.
Then again that's under my control - it's easy to blame it on someone else. People ususally absolve themselves of responsibility and find someone else to blame - it's natural for most entrepreneurs to find someone to blame (and guess what - they don't look at the mirror).

A typical analogy would be a very hot girl - she'll be a bitch because she gets hit on ALL the time. If you get to know her she might be a very cool person.
And because of their experiences with one or a few very hot women most men start assuming all very hot women are bitches. A guy will typically never say - i didn't have the skillset to get her - he'll say she's a bitch.

another entreprenuer

I dont know Paul and never met him, but he came across as arrogant as the "sucky" VCs he despises in the blogs he posted . . . I do know that when people of huge egos interact, they tend to either love or hate eachother. .

another note on Joel Spolsky, the guy has some valid points, but he clearly doesnt know the VC business inside out. . . MOST VC's wants field goals as well as touchdowns (its called portfolio diversification/markowitz theory). . . its the benchmark and kleiners of the world that can afford to swing for the fences and miss since their LP's gives them a lot of lattitude. . .


I think you hit the nail on the head.

Jack Bryar

Many VCs are assholes.

Too often they come into private equity firm based on -- maybe -- one success in the marketplace- which is like saying grandma should be CFO because she hit the jackpot at on the slots in Vegas.
Too often they don't listen to the business concept or make even an attempt to grasp the value proposition. Too often they try to pad their commissions by insisting on high priced no-show jobs for them or their buddies in the company they are trying to fund. They push the client company's management into making pie-in-the sky predictions about performance so they can overhype the opportunity to investors and turn around and screw over the company's managment when they don't hit the target.

Many clients are assholes.

They assume because they had a friend who was successful in business that means something special about their own skills. They assume that they don't have to do market research to prove they know what the f&*^k they are talking about. They assume key staffing gaps in technology, or marketing or finance don't count. They assume they should get paid like CEOs for an idea rather than a plan. They assume all they have to do is "sell" the VC with a plan rather than generate any evidence they have even thought about how the business would actually operate if it got a dollar. They assume that a VC would be willing to invest in the business when they or their family have never dropped so much as a dime in it.

What can I say?

Anonymous Coward

I think your post here really only proves Joel's point. Saying that VCs are no worse than other asset managers is damning by faint praise. Complaining about getting paid ludicrously well to "think about how technology can benefit people and companies", something that most entrepreneurs do for fun, only reinforces the point that most VCs are not only jerks, but also whiners.


No, I just think the idea that anyone can suggest that an entire industry of people are good/bad is ludicrous on it's face.

insofar as getting paid "ludicrously well"... well that only happens if my fund as a whole does really well, in which case my investors do really well. My management fee is in the form of an operating budget and is lean, and my carry only kicks in when I deliver investment returns that are better than the net profitability of SAP over the same period. So on balance, my investor does far better than I do, which they should IMO.

and if you really think that VC's are jerks/whiners/complainers, then why do you care what I think?


i'd venture to say that there is no common language between entreps and VCs

i'd be amazed if even 10% of founders had any formal training in entrepreneurship whatsoever- worse still- academia is yet to specifically describe the economic role and optimal behavior of lunatics like my self ;)

so yeah..we are gonna keep bitching about this forever..sad to say..untill entrepreneurs get with the program

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