Great People Do Great Things

I am a huge fan of Mark Suster. His blog is a treasure chest of ideas and lessons learned. If you aren’t subscribed to his blog and you are an entrepreneur, you are missing out.

Here is a great video which talks about pitching to VC’s and the approach you should take. With the market extremely hot these days and many people looking to raise capital, this is a very apt video.

3 Comments Great People Do Great Things

  1. Zayd

    Enlightening video, it supports a realization I came to a little while ago: VCs are clueless about the technologies they invest into. All the more reason for me to continue with plans for a PhD at a name school :).

  2. Usman Sheikh

    Good to hear from you Zayd. I do not think making blanket statements such as “VCs are clueless about the technologies they invest into” is correct. The argument is severely flawed, you are stating that VC’s such as Don Valentine, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Keith Rabois, Reid Hoffman, Mark Suster and probably hundreds if not thousands of great venture capitalist are lottery players.

    A PhD provides validation for your skills and abilities. It gives you a seat at the table with an edge. It doesn’t guarantee you any sort of success, that has to be earned.

    Best of luck.

  3. Zayd

    In retrospect, yes, my statement was excessively blanketing but there exists a valid argument. Let me put some limits:

    Considering truly high tech startups (RFIC, Biochem, startups working in NLP, AI, machine learning or other established CS fields etc. – not web 2.0) the domain is well beyond the VCs area of expertise. This is not to belittle the VCs ability but it’s simply not humanly possible for one to truly become a master in such domains without significant devotion of time, sweat and blood. Innovations being proposed by startups in these areas require a serious groundwork of education and background to be able to critique, challenge or validate. VCs quite simply do not have the time for such commitments.

    I have met 2 VCs who have made investments of 20m to 30m into promising startups here in California but have had basic misconceptions stemmed from a lack of understanding about the technologies they were investing into. I have not had the honor of meeting any of the VCs you have listed, but I (probably like you) follow their blogs and can get a general feel for their understanding of the companies they invest in.

    However, I do agree that they are still able to gauge the probability of an idea’s success based on secondary characteristics – for example, the school that the entrepreneur received his PhD from.

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