LEARN TO LOVE TOUGH QUESTIONS: Here’s The Best VC Wisdom Of The Week


It’s been a hot minute since our last round-up of VC advice….but wisdom, unlike bloggers, does not sleep.

“The Limits of Capitalism,” by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures: “Contrary to the occasional community members who call me a socialist or a techno communist, I believe wholeheartedly in the power of markets to efficently determine what’s best in most cases. But I am not an absolute capitalist. I believe that markets do break down from time to time and we need to recognize when those things happen and do something about it. The labor movement, when it was not corrupt for the most part, is an example of a societal response to a market breakdown.”

“How to Control Your Board Discussion And Avoid Chaos,” by Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures“Even the most well-meaning board members will be undisciplined about time management and discussing what’s on their mind rather than what’s most important to you. It’s your job not to let this happen. Acknowledge the great question. Have a scribe write it down. Commit to come back to it later in the meeting or soon after the meeting. And move on to what you came to your board meeting to discuss.”

“Tough Questions,” by Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures“My fundraise was relatively easy.  It was a party round before anyone used the term–twenty one angel investors including a lot of top names.  Everyone supported *us* and no one really put our feet to the fire. I wish they had … There are some really great folks who are essentially cashing in their social capital, building off their character, relationships, or even just the coolness of what they’re up to.  It’s really not good for anyone in the long term.”

“What Bitcoin And Internet Of Things Startups Have In Common,” by Tom Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures“I suspect the first  mass-market successful Bitcoin company won’t have Bitcoin (or any subset of the word) in its name. This startup will market itself just the same as a competing financial services company, but offer significantly lower fees for remittances or foreign exchange. Similarly, on its website, Nest, maker of connected thermostats and smoke detectors, never mentions the words Internet of Things. Even the word Wifi is only found on its customer support pages.”