Question: How important is speaking to product management to a VC? While most do not sit on the management team, do you like to interact with them regularly?
Our Take: Absolutely. VCs like to interact with all major functional heads of the company whether they are operations, finance, engineering, marketing, sales, product development and management, etc. It’s important for an investor to see the company from the eyes of many different touch points, not just those of the CEO and CFO. This in no way is meant to undermine the authority of the CEO, or to intimate that the CEO isn’t trusted, rather in a well-performing, functional management company, it is good to evaluate diversity of opinions.
I find that the board meetings that are most useful always contain some in depth discussion from one or more functional areas of the company. These aren’t always the same for every meeting. If the company is about to release a new version of the product, I fully expect and want to speak to the engineering team. If the company is getting ready for fundraising, we’ll spend more time with the finance folks. Along these lines it’s really helpful to talk to product management folks about their vision of the future, how customers are accepting their products and how the integration between them, sales, businesses develop and engineering works.