The first time I heard the term VC (venture capital / venture capitalist) was the late 90s. I was in college, observing and not understanding the internet boom that was going on all around me. From what I could see, VC (the name of the industry, as well as the people within it) was just the noun form of greedy. I put them in the same crowd as San Francisco office space landlords who demanded stock options in addition to rent.
So, when someone came to town, bought out my favorite pizza place, and started talking about expanding, it seemed fitting to refer to him as “the VC.”
During the last year, I’ve been reading the weblogs of a number of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. I have weeded my way down to just a handful who have helped me become a little more objective about the position of VCs in startups. Interestingly, the posts that got me started were about bootstrapping (i.e., saying no to venture capital).
It turns out that venture capital is more similar to entrepreneurship that it is different. They both involve calculated risk, competitive analysis, and nurturing a business. And while the VCs do demand a large piece of the pie, they also do their fair share of work to ensure a business succeeds.
My favorite VC-related sites also have a heavy dose of personal posts. This is probably why I kept reading them, as their business-related writing is fuller when I have a complete view of the writer’s world view.
- Feld Thoughts – Brad Feld, a Colorado-based VC. He has an ongoing feature describing term sheets.
- A VC – Fred Wilson is based in NYC and has started a new venture fund. In addition to chronicling his 50 favorite albums, he also has a VC Cliche of the Week.
- Only Once – Matt Blumberg is a first-time entrepreneur. His company has investments from both Feld and Wilson’s venture firms. I always look forward to Blumberg’s “counter-cliche,” his response to Wilson’s VC cliches.