Broken ecosystem: what was your experience of VC's like ?

Rather than me telling you what it’s like to deal with VC’s, tell me what your experience of interacting with investors was like ?

  • did they understand your business ?
  • was there real engagement in meetings ?
  • were they selling themselves too ?
  • did you derive any value from the interaction ?
  • etc…

Please ask around for people to come and post a comment on this thread, and I will summarise and repost the results with my own commentary on the issues raised.

UPDATE: I will do this one offline and anonymous.  Email me at fdestin [at] gmail [dot] com

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4 Responses to Broken ecosystem: what was your experience of VC's like ?

  1. Julien says:

    Do you really wanna go through this ?

  2. Julien, my thoughts exactly! I am ducking for cover but looking forward to the ensuing battle.

  3. Joe Cohen says:

    I’ll start with the full disclosure section that Fred’s firm was the seed investor in my company.

    # did they understand your business ?

    Investors, whether VC’s or larges corporates (where I spent 10 years previously) understand businesses on a theoretical level and will never understand any business with with nuance and detail of an operator. In fact, I am pretty sure that that would lead to a very bad world. My investors understand my business to the point that they believe, if executed, it can be a dynamic and successfl business. That’s probably enough.

    # was there real engagement in meetings ?

    Yes, but again an investor’s engagement can and should not delve into core operating issues. More often then not with most (prospective and) investors when I have taken the discussion one layer below strategy the blackberries come out. The operator has to understand her audience and frame the discussion accordingly to get the most out meeting. If we don’t do this we have no one else to blame for the consequences.

    # were they selling themselves too ?


    # did you derive any value from the interaction ?

    Yes, the most value I derived was that I got a much better understanding of their expectations for it. At the end of the day the business is going to be what it’s going to be, you just have to frame the discussion in the context of expectations.

    # etc…

  4. redeye says:

    I’ve pitched a few start-ups over the years to VC’s and angel networks. Local angel networks I find very difficult to communicate new web ideas to, this is understandable generally. VC’s in my experience have been a mixed bag, with the last conversation involving them trying to extract 80% of the business. The new business we’re seeking funding for is of course a high risk venture, but the feeling is that there is more knowledge currently about the online space than previously. So we’re hopeful.

    However every encounter is a learning experience and there is always something to be gained no matter how the relationship goes.

    btw – what’s with the Banksy picture on OCC? :)