Is a VC letting you eat your lunch?

Many people emphasize the need to be wary of VCs (“vulture capitalists”) because they are out to screw you, to “eat your lunch”. It’s not whether a venture capitalist is going to eat your lunch, it’s whether he or she is going to let you eat it yourself.

By the way, whoever gets to eat lunch, if the VC doesn’t pay for it, don’t take their investment… But that is a topic for another blog posting.

Consider this: you are having lunch with a VC. The truth is if you are lucky, you won’t get to eat yours. The VC will be listening intently, asking good questions, and leaving you the time to answer fully and clearly. He or she will be chomping away, listening hard, but enjoying the food and filling up nicely. On the other hand, every time you take a mouthful the VC will ask another question and you will have to stop eating to answer. (Hint, choose something to eat that doesn’t take too long to chew. Soup, anyone?)

If you are eating and the VC is talking, don’t take their investment. They think they know more than you about your business. If they truly do know more, then give up that plan and do something else. If the VC is the smartest guy in the room about your business, then everyone is in trouble. Most likely the VC doesn’t know more than you about your business, but they seem to like the sound of their own voice. Beware!

1 comment:

abdesatnik said...

Nicely said, Richard. This principle seems to apply to all areas of business, whether it be learning about a possible investment or pitching corporate sponsorship or whatever. I won't be able to forget the image you've painted of a hungry, hungry business person.