Advice from a Venture Capitalist

I’ve been following Howard and Fred on and off over the years. They’re old Web 2.0 veterans like me and have kept a blog going for over 10 years. It’s always nice to see continuity and recently I found a great interview with Fred at MIT on Howard’s blog. It’s just under an hour and gives advice to students interested in the Venture Capitalist (VC) field.

Cheerleaders

What caught my ear (and Howard’s too) was how his wife (Gotham Girl) is his biggest cheerleader. What does he exactly mean by that? She was the one that supported and believed in him to go out into Venture Capitalism.

With any big risk you take in life, it makes your life so much easier to have someone behind you, cheering you on.  Like Fred, my wife is my biggest cheerleader. She encouraged and supported me to step out of the Engineering world and into the Startup world.

You won’t believe how much that mattered to me then and how much it still matters today.

Fred’s actual talk is about 25 minutes or so, but the Q&A part is gold. I’m going to watch this a few times just to glean as much wisdom as I can!

Other Interesting Bits

  1. The Founder(s) need to be like salespeople, they have to sell their idea to VC’s, customers, etc
  2. You need to build up well-diversified startup portfolio, some will fail and you’ll lose your seed investment
  3. It’s a good idea to help negotiate the Series A and even B rounds because that’ll help you get your exit
  4. Opportunities abound everywhere

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