I thought I'd write a post following up on my guest post on TechFlash and let everyone know some of the things that I know I suck at when it comes to investing. You should feel free to comment and add to either list (I of course prefer you add to the why I don't suck :-) .
Why I don't suck as a venture capitalist
- I have experience running and selling start up technology companies. I've been doing this for 15 years, and have managed to sell 3 companies for a nice sum of money and 2 for a loss (both about $0.50 on the invested dollar).
- I have managed up to 120 people. I've recruited lots of VPs before and managed many management teams.
- I love sales of all kinds -- and know how to sell.
- I blog and try to be transparent about my position on topics.
- I have an opinion and am direct. You may not like what I have to say but most people know where they stand with me and whether I like their business.
- I think of myself and am told that I'm approachable and open.
- I know my shit smells -- and I know I've made lots of mistakes (and continue to make them)
- I'm scrappy, cheap, aggressive,and know how to bootsrap business
- I'm willing to be wrong
- I have an emotional IQ
- I try not to take myself too seriously
- I care a lot about entrepreneurs and the community.
- I pay my taxes and am a huge fan of the films : Old School and Meet the parents
Why I suck as a venture capitalist
- I'm now an investor and think like one
- I'm valuation sensitive. We tend to deals in the sub 2MM pre-money valuation zone.
- Our deals include a liquidation preference as a standard term.
- I think my experience should matter to you
- If I dont' like your business or you, I usually tell you (doesn't win me friends)
- I'm cheap and sometimes negotiate too aggressively.
- People have told me that my direct style intimitades them. I don't mean to!
- I don't read all my emails and am occasionally lame about follow thrown
- I have definately mismanged expectations in the investment process on more than one occasion.
- I like to make money.
- I am wrong plenty.
- I care about the people side of business a lot.
- I don't have enough money to invest -- I have a small fund and thus can't do bigger deals.
- I like the movie Wall Street and once thought about being an investment banker, an options trader, and a management consultant. I did none of the above but would probably still enjoy being an options trader.