Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is a VC's Useful Shelf life?

Specifically I mean...

How long does it take from first becoming a VC does it take for that VC to get sufficiently corrupted by money, toys and "entrepreneur worship" such that a bad case of "bloated ego syndrome" renders them less effective than "random choice" at picking the right companies to fund? 

Power corrupts. It's a fact. 

When you add money and wealth to unbridled worship and ego-stroking from very smart entrepreneurs, who get very effective at sucking up, you have all the ingredients for "Egos Gone Wild" (EGW).  And like the GGW videos made in spring break results in a LOT of bad decision making. 

Now I'm not saying there are no VC's who successfully resist the corruptive influences of wealth and fan worship. But the reality is most humans would succumb to these influences and become giant blobs of seething ego if we became VC's. 

Paul Grahm has a great article on the possible demise of VC and I think this EGW effect has something to do with it...

He describes a lot of startup CEO's starting to feel that "VC investors aren't worth the trouble."
I'm certainly feeling that way after a recent VC "How to Raise Startup Capital." workshop. I think the better title would have been "How to Kiss a VC's Butt Most Effectively so he Feels Properly Superior to the Mortal Humans He Must Suffer on a Daily Basis."

What do you think?


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