ON BUBBLES, HATERS AND MONKEYS: Check Out The Best VC Wisdom Of The Week


It’s Saturday night…take a break from your Netflix binge (or alcohol binge) to binge on some wisdom*.

“On Bubbles,” by Bill Gurley of Benchmark“Warren Buffet has a famous quote, ‘Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.’ Using this traditionally contrarian investment mindset, one would certainly tread with trepidation in today’s market. Although we may have not reached the level of observing obvious greediness, there is most certainly an absence of fear. Those that managed companies in 2008 or thirteen years ago in 2001 know exactly how fear feels. And this is not it.”

“What Would I Look For When Choosing A VC — Knowing What I Know Now?” by Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures“You want a VC who will spar with you but then STFU and let you get on with things. Smart? Sure. But don’t over index on brains. In the end it will be up to you to figure out what to do. If you’re looking for somebody else to tell you the answers you’re in the wrong business.”

“Can Do vs. Can’t Do Cultures,” by Brad Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz“Who does the Can’t Do Culture hurt the most? Ironically, it hurts the haters. The people who focus on what’s wrong with an idea or a company will be the ones too fearful to try something that other people find stupid. They will be too jealous to learn from the great innovators. They will be too pig headed to discover the brilliant young engineer who changes the world before she does. They will be too cynical to inspire anybody to do anything great. They will be the ones who history ridicules.”

“Managing Monkeys,” by Tom Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures“You’re walking down the hallway at work from one meeting to the next. A colleague or report stops you en route, asks for a minute and presents an important problem. It’s easy to respond with “let me think about it” and duck into the meeting. In that half-second, all the responsibility of the decision has been transferred. Unlike a minute ago, you have the monkey on your back.”

“Fundraising Done…and Now for the Real Work,” Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures“I’ve finished raising the first Brooklyn Bridge Ventures fund–tallying $8.3 million.  This is what I set out to do just about two years ago when I first broke out on my own and started raising, so I’m thrilled to say that it has finally happened. I’m not going to do too much of a victory lap, though, because it bugs me a little when startups do it, and I’m a startup, too.  Fundraising is not the goal, it’s the means to an end.