New VC Blogger – Greg Gottesman (Madrona)

My long time friend and favorite Seattle VC Greg Gottesman has started blogging. Greg’s a great writer and super thoughtful investor so I expect his blog will be one to read and comment on. It’s certainly going to be in my daily blogroll.

Greg and I are currently on the boards of Cheezburger and Startup Weekend together. We had several shared investments over the years including both good and bad ones. I’ve always had deep respect for how Greg thinks, works, and acts. Plus, I just love hanging out with him.

Greg was half of the motive force behind bringing TechStars to Seattle. He and Andy Sack, the TechStars Managing Director, literally made it happen. Greg’s been an awesome partner in the TechStars journey and completely embraces the mentorship model and the notion of “give before you get.”

Greg – welcome to the blogosphere. It’s never too late to join.

  • why have VCs so much time for blogging but not so much to answer to emails?

    • Have you ever sent me an email? I try to respond to them all.

      • the comment wasn’t about you (also since I don’t remember if I’ve ever sent a mail to you) but was more general since I’ve a very long experience of non-answered emails … a couple of years ago, when I’ve tried to start my own company [ NewSpaceAgency . com ] I’ve sent over 500 email to VCs, BAs and other big/mid/small companies, receiving only half dozen of (all negative) answers … that’s why now I try to fund my projects only with the crowdfunding, like this one www . kapipal . com/gotomars

        • Were these emails sent to people you already had a relationship or were they “cold call” emails?

          • “sent to people you already had a relationship”


          • Why do you expect a response?

          • at least for courtesy (that has zero costs) … why put a mail address on a website if it’s only a Black Hole?

          • It turns out there’s not a zero cost to respond to an email. As someone who gets over 500 emails a day and tries to respond to them all, there is a cost – it’s time. And it would be much easier to simply delete / archive the messages from people I don’t know that I’m not interested.

            That said, I’m not defending the non-responders of the world, but realize they are simply choosing their priorities.

          • maybe, “not a zero cost” but surely very low costs … and, after all, if you are in a business and have a website with a mail address, answer to the emails is part of your job

            “someone who gets over 500 emails a day” … if you’re in a business that includes (also) to receive many emails, you should have someone that answer them

            just imagine if an eCommerce site answers only to 10% of the emails because 100% is too much …

            “much easier to simply delete / archive the messages from people I don’t know” … easier but useless if you run any kind of business … it’s best don’t show a mail address on the website and to have one secret address to be given only to friends and partners

            “they are simply choosing their priorities” … IMO, their priority should be to read, evaluate and answer EVERY email or proposal received, because, behind every one of them, there could be a good deal

          • I agree with Brad. There might be a high cost to answering email depending on his alternative at the time. Hiring someone to answer them increases the cost-and decreases the personal attention that many people pride themselves on in answering email. My own experience with Brad is that he answers email pretty quickly for a person that is in high demand. He also answers them thoughtfully-and to the point. I have always gotten high value from them. Of course, I don’t abuse the email address and email him only when I think he can really make a difference with something.

            You are correct, there might be a good deal behind every email. However, each deal that a person sees is “iid”. Independent and identically distributed and has to be evaluated independently. There is high cost to this kind of evaluation. No way around it either.

            What would you think if you sent an email to a VC and received an automated response?

          • “There is high cost to this kind of evaluation” … maybe, but, if you own a company, answer to ALL non-spam emails isn’t an hobby or a personal leisure but is PART of your job … the emails with business proposals are like the patients for a doctor or the customers for a shop … answer only to 10% of them, is like have a shop but keep it open only one hour per day (and, when it’s closed, you may lose the best sales!)

          • I don’t think this analogy holds. I don’t know any VC who says “I’ll look at any deal and evaluate it.” If someone is saying that, they are likely full of shit.

          • so, you say that all VCs’ choices, are completely random?

          • Not at all. I’m saying that different VCs have different ways to evaluate and decide what they are investing in. Looking at every single thing that hits their inbox is not a common strategy.

          • yes, VCs have many sources and invest also in companies that already are big, for B, C rounds, but the emails are a great source of potential founders of startups that may soon become big companies … if you don’t read and evaluate ALL emails carefully, you can lose many of them … just imagine a young student like (e.g.) Mark that sends you a mail to seek angel funds for a startup he calls “a new social network” … and his mail is one of those you have deleted … 🙂

  • Hakon Verespej

    I know I’m joining the conversation late, but thought I’d add a link about the cognitive costs of doing anything: Email is much more “expensive” than many people realize.

    If an entrepreneur’s company needs funding, it’s the entrepreneur’s job to do whatever it takes to secure the needed funds. Typically building relationships with 10 relevant investors will be much more productive than 500 cold emails. Or entrepreneurs can try bootstrapping or doing consulting work to support the development of their startup.

    Blaming external forces outside our control doesn’t make us better entrepreneurs. It’s best to figure out what’s not working, why it’s not working, and refine our strategy accordingly.