Every entrepreneur who’s raised venture capital knows what it’s like to be disrespected by a VC – it’s a terrible waste of everyone’s time and I generally think that we need to share and socialize more of this
bad VC behavior more.
I captured a few top-of-mind thoughts after I had another shitty meeting and I shared the following with my team – it’s not formatted perfectly and it really is off-the-cuff, but, the gestalt is there, more or less:
- Most venture capitalists will not actually listen to your pitch, especially the ones that are more new and “green”. This is because they are learning to become a “good” VC which they think means “pattern matching“… and since they do not yet have enough empirical data to appropriately pattern match you into their conceived ideas of their so-called thesis, they are trying to desperately figure out a way of asking their rote questions in a way that seems natural. They never quite make the turn, so, it ends up being goofy and forced. A great example of this is asking a question that was already answered via the deck and the intro pitch and yet they will ask it anyway and be surprised by your answer.
- Most VCs will quickly throw away their “playbook” if they smell blood in the water. This is actually a systemic disadvantage for them because it betrays their emotional instability. Key indicators are increased levels of enthusiasm as the
bandwagon effecttakes control. must make note to expand on this further… later.
- Most VCs have no idea what you’re building but they will tell you that they “completely” understand. If they manage to do this quickly before the pitch can correct their zealous guestimate, you’ll have a hard time dislocating their death grip on a “matched pattern” of 100 other companies that were “similar” in scope and scale.
- VCs who tell you they don’t care about pedigree but then they ask you what your major was and what your schooling background is (and dig in farther along these lines) are effectively liars and should be ignored (or listened to very cautiously). Once you fail their internal
pedigreematch it is a blackhole of unmanageable socio-political debt. It’s probably better to simply abandon ship and save time pitching to someone else.
- VCs who are late and who don’t apologize are assholes.
- VCs who tell you how to build your product in the first meeting are also categorically arrogant and should also be ignored.
… to be continued…