The VC business, for a fund manager, is an orgy of rejection. During the course of a year, we will touch 1,000 companies at Amasia; we'll invest in three (maybe four, sometimes two). What this means is that on 997 occasions, we're saying no.
It's spring, which means the thoughts of VCs turn lightly to thoughts of demo days. Many accelerators have their demo days in March. If you haven't been to one, these are celebrations of entrepreneurship; 21st century business theater. Meeting many, many companies and founders in a concentrated period produces the following reflection.
I spoke earlier this week with a young founder, a couple of years out of college, and the conversation has moved me to rant. Not a rant about inexperience, though. Inexperience has its advantages, and experience has its disadvantages. This is a rant about taking on life risk.
The last decade has seen an explosion, worldwide, of organized entrepreneurship. Angels, seed funds, mentors, coaches, accelerators and incubators have proliferated (as have VC firms). And a (good) blog post can be found on just about every minute aspect of building a technology business.
Tim O'Reilly recently wrote a great essay on the virtues of not raising external capital. It led me to reflect on one aspect of having outside investors that can feel like a gigantic chore -- reporting. This is irrelevant if, like Tim (or Craig Newmark), you haven't raised external capital. But if you have, these five guidelines might be worth considering: