I was an entrepreneur for years. I must have pitched 40-50 VCs over the years. Possibly more. As I talked about on many occasions when I was an entrepreneur – and blogged publicly about – I learned a lot about my business and myself in these meetings. It was largely a positive experience.
[Make sure to watch the video]
Still, it was bloody annoying, too. Blackberry’s in meetings, last-minute cancelations, partners who no-showed but send junior staff, lack of imagination / engagement, etc. I wrote about it all in that post.
But I’ll tell ya – even that I kind of just accepted. I realized it was part of the process because it’s such a high-volume activity being a VC. I figured I wouldn’t let it get me.
What surprised me was how seriously many VCs took themselves. You’d see them speak at conferences using their favorite euphemisms for businesses that grow rapidly or for really profitable businesses. Or they’d speak in the fine-tuned VC lexicon to you. Knowingly. Like they’d seen it all before. You know, things like, “we’re looking for businesses with high viral coefficients,” “we want to see non-linear growth,” “what are your unfair advantages?”
Or they’d throw out their standard, ‘I’m too bored to think up anything insightful’ questions like “what’s going to happen when Google copies this?” or my favorite, “how big can this get?”
It’s almost as though they lacked personality, originality, empathy, humility or a sense of humor.
That’s what makes Foundry Group so refreshing to me. Aside from having one of the best performing funds in the entire country (I’ve seen the data) they’re a down to Earth group of guys. They’ve been blogging for years, written several books, helped found TechStars and have now produced an awesome video taking the piss out of VCs (and themselves).
You won’t find many guys in our industry who would do that. It’s an awesome & short parody. Best line: “we’re a definite maybe.” Best video moment: the Justin Timberlake impression. I’ll let you find out what I mean. I also loved the guest appearance by Dan Primack of Fortune Magazine.
I’ve often said that it’s important to have great rapport with your investors because you’re stuck with them. Life’s too short to work with Dicks. And if you have to spend a lot of time with your investors I can’t imagine a better bunch than Brad, Jason, Ryan & Seth.