Tom Perkins is one of the founding members of the venerable venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins. He just had his Mitt Romney moment and his name will forever be etched in the collective consciousness of the tech community for this terribly insensitive and tone deaf letter to the Wall Street Journal.
The headline of Mr. Perkins letter to the WSJ?
Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?
“I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.””
People of middle or lower income families protesting the concentration of wealth in America is the same as a political party in Germany instituting a policy of systematically killing 6 million Jews and countless more who didn’t fit the model Aryan citizen?
It probably doesn’t take much more to explain how disconnected from reality Tom Perkins is. But let me try.
In this article about Tom Perkins in the WSJ you would have had a clue before his recent letter. He says – out loud apparently
“I’m called the king of Silicon Valley. “Why can’t I have a penthouse?”
This in response to his 5,500 2-bed penthouse in San Francisco where his construction budget alone was $9 million. Who says out loud that they are the king of anything?
I’m sorry, Mr. Perkins. You are now the bumbling dunce of Silicon Valley.
This article originally ran on PEHub. If you prefer the super short version – I’ve summarized the post in the final section.
Many observers of the venture capital industry have questioned whether its best days are behind it. They are frustrated by the past decade of subpar returns for the sector. The most recent report to weigh in on the troubles of the industry was produced by the esteemed Kauffman Foundation.
There are obvious reasons the industry has had less-than-desirable returns, including: massive over-funding of the sector, huge increases in inexperienced venture capitalists that took a decade to peter out, and the massive correction in the value of the public stock markets that closed many exit opportunities for half a decade.
I can’t help feel a bit of rear-view mirror analysis in all of “VC model is broken” bears in our industry.
I had the privilege of keynoting at the Founder Showcase tonight in San Francisco.
Adeo asked me to speak about fund raising. I generally don’t like to speak about fund raising in a frothy market. If you’re bullish you seem like a Cramer-esque cheerleader and if you’re bearish you sound like a party pooper.
But Adeo asked so I obliged. I don’t know whether they shot video. If they do I’ll post it. I think you can get the gist of it from my presentation although some slides don’t quite tell the full story.
Enjoy. See you in the comments section for our debate.
This post originally ran on TechCrunch. Lately I have seen a number of deals announced on TechCrunch in which 5 or more different VCs were participating in the deal.
This always makes me chuckle because in my first company we had 5 investors in our first round and we picked up 5 more before we finally sold the company.
In my second company I had only 1 investor.
When this first ran on TechCrunch I got the greatest comment in the world that I had to repeat here, “VC’s are like martinis: the first is good, the second one great, and the third is a headache.” LOL. I love that. And it’s kind of true.
While there is no right or wrong answer, having seen the extremes I’d like to offer you a framework for considering the right answer for yourselves.
The Perils of Many
I understand the appeal of having many VC firms on your cap table.
I recently filmed a show for This Week in Venture Capital in which I talked about how to prepare for a VC meeting: whom you’ll meet, who should attend from your side, what materials you should bring and how you should run the meeting. I wrote the summary notes in this blog post. That notes only told part of the story.
Bijan Sabet – investor & board member in some small companies you might have heard of like Twitter, Tumblr, Boxee & OMGPOP – took issue with the whole notion that you even need a Powerpoint deck anymore. Please read his compelling & short post on the topic.