One of the questions that we get most often is “why are VCs such jerks?” or some sort of derivation thereof. Specifically, people complain about:
– VCs not returning calls / being unresponsive
– VCs not understanding how good of an investment my company is
– VCs stringing along entrepreneurs when they know they aren’t going to fund a deal
– VCs being “know it all board members”
– VCs being unapproachable in general
I won’t try to defend all VCs. In fact, I’ve seen all of this behavior from other VCs and I don’t condone it in any way. How does one avoid these behaviors? The key is picking good VCs to work with, but also to be self aware of your particular situation. I’ll try to address the particular complaints above by illustrating some situations that I’ve seen and also try to give you some insight into what might be rattling around in your VC’s head.
I especially like this one:
Issue 4: VCs being “know it all board members”
Why is this happening to me? This situation is rarely one-sided – it’s usually the fault of both VC and entrepreneur, but it’s usually between the following polar extremes:
1. The VC is a complete idiot, doesn’t pay attention to the company at all, only shows up for the board meetings and then sits there and espouses “wisdom for all to hear.”
2. The Entrepreneur always thinks he/she is correct and that “no one could possibly know more about my company than me” and completely ignores the VC who has experience across many different companies.