Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ Category

Marc Andreesen on Venture Capitalists – Part 2

Marc wrote another great post on venture capitalists titled The truth about venture capitalists, Part 2Excellent stuff.  Fred Wilson agrees.

Marc Andreesen on Venture Capitalists

Marc Andreesen, the cofounder of Netscape, Opsware, and Ning has today’s great post up titled The truth about venture capitalists, Part 1Marc started blogging recently and while his posts are essay style ones, they are fun, interesting, and full of good juicy meat.  There are a few factual inaccuracies (e.g. that VC funds are legally limited to 10 years – that’s the normal term, but most have automatic 2 year extensions and often get extended longer than that), but his general perspective should be interesting and enlightening to any entrepreneur thinking about taking money from a VC.

Defining the Anti VC

Fred Wilson has today’s great VC post up titled The Anti VC.  The post is simple and asks the question “what exactly is ‘the anti VC’”?  The real meat is in the comments which are fantastic.

Kedrosky’s Top 10 Limited Partner Lies

For those of you VCs following along at home, Paul Kedrosky has just published his Top 10 Limited Partner LiesIt nicely complements Paul’s Top 10 VC Lies.  I see a future for Paul on The Letterman Show.

A VC’s Typical Day

Question: Please describe a typical day of a venture capitalist.

(Brad) The short answer is that I don’t have one.  However, I’m sure that’s not very satisfying, especially for those of you out there with voyeristic tenancies.  So – I’ll use Monday as a typical day.  In the spirit of 24, I’ll leave out the bathroom breaks. 

5:00am – 6:00am: Wake up. email, read RSS feeds, blog.
6:00am – 8:00am: Run, shower, get to office.
8:00am – 9:00am: Meeting at my office with CEO of a portfolio company to discuss strategic opportunities for his company.
9:00am – 10:00am: Email
10am – 10:30am: Phone call with a limited partner concerning Fair Value Accounting rules.
10:30am – 11:15am: Meeting with CEO of startup about his new business and feedback for ways he can make progress.
11:15am – 1:30pm: Lunch with partners at The Village Tavern.
1:30pm – 2:30pm: Doctor’s appointment.
2:30pm – 3:30pm: Conference call with CEO, COO, and GC of a portfolio company about strategic activity.
3:30pm – 4:00pm: Meeting with exec looking for a new job.
4:00pm – 4:30pm: Meeting with CEO of company I’m an advisor to – review sales performance issues from Q1.
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Meeting with CEO of a startup about potential financing and next steps.
5:00pm – 5:30pm: Phone call with partner at another VC firm about a company we are co-investors in as well as a company I am an investor in that he is considering leading a round for.
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Drink with my wife Amy at The Kitchen.
6:30pm – 8:30pm: Dinner at The Kitchen with CEO, CTO, and VP Product from one of my portfolio company to review several product and partnering initiatives for Q2.
9:00pm – 10:00pm: Email at home

I’ve found that my life runs better when it’s highly scheduled (vs. doing a bunch of random phone calls throughout the day.)  I used to do a lot of ad hoc stuff throughout the day and found that things ran a lot better for me personally when everything was scheduled.  My minimum scheduling slot is 30 minutes so I often have lots of little chunks of time throughout the day since many meetings and calls take 5 to 15 minutes.

Note the conspicuous absence of golf.

Okay, I Got A Job At A Venture Firm: What Do I Do Now?

Today, our partner Chris Wand is our guest blogger of the day. 

Question: I am a VC, what do I do now? When I left university I got lucky & landed a job working as an analyst for a VC firm. Fast forward a few years & now I’m left wondering what to do. There don’t seem to be any roles in the industry at the next level. I’m good at technology without much development experience & strong on operational metrics without any operational experience. All advice gladly accepted!

Implicit in your question is the statement that VCs aren’t qualified to do anything other than be VCs. And while it’s tempting, I’ll resist the urge to pander to those among us who believe that to be the case…

I’d encourage you to focus on the core skills that you have acquired during your time as a VC and then figure out where else those skills are relevant. Your work experience may not position you perfectly for that next gig, so your challenge is to help your future employer see through your prior job title to understand what skills and passions you do bring to the table.

When I think of junior VCs that I know, their skill sets often include strong quantitative and analytical skills, market research skills, etc. Seeing a lot of business plans and helping analyze various investment opportunities can hone your business sense, and–let’s face it–being a good VC generally requires at least a modicum of people skills (if only to deal with your fellow VCs <g>).

If that sounds like you, then your next jump could take you into consulting or investment banking (both of which rely heavily on quantitative, analytical and research skills). Or it could take you into a junior operating role in finance, business development or corporate development where you’ll have the opportunity to learn the ropes from someone with more experience.

Recognize, however, that when you switch gears, sometimes you end up having to downshift a little bit at first in order to get your foot in the door and prove your worth. Given that you’re still early in your professional career, I wouldn’t get hung up about potentially taking a step backwards. Focus instead on what you’re good at and what you really want to do.

Craft your resume to highlight the most relevant skills, comb your network for any and all introductions you can find (that’s where you’re likely to have the most success), and focus on finding an opportunity that will continue to expand your skills and build your experience, even if it feels like a bit of a step back.

Introduction to Venture Capital

We are often asked “how does Venture Capital work?”  Will Price from Hummer Winblad recently gave a presentation to a class at Stanford (Entrepreneurial Engineer) which is an excellent overview of how venture capital works.