What Capitalists and Founders Never Say

I ran into two presentations that follow the inspiration poster pattern about things Venture Capitalist and Startup Founders never say via TechCrunch. I was surprised, if Venture Capitalist and Startup Founder feel like this about each other how is there going to be trust to build a sustainable business, I guess sustainable is not a liquidity event. I thought they were very good and I posted the text below.

Things a Venture Capitalist Will Never Say

  • Humility: Quite frankly, I’m not the smartest person in the room.
  • Availability: Mondays and Fridays are not good for me because they impinge on my long weekends in Tahoe.
  • Competence: I’ve never run a real business and I’m not going to tell you how to run yours now.
  • Confidence: I will not let my absence of direct experience reduce the intensity of my opinion.
  • Self-Awareness: I’m stepping off the board so you can fill the seat with someone who knows something about anything.
  • Honesty: In hindsight, management was right after all.
  • Acceptance: The only value we bring to the deal is money.
  • Attentiveness: It was rude of me to check my blackberry during the meeting.
  • Gratitude: Management’s strategic decisions two years ago were excellent. Here’s 5% more of the company as a reward.
  • Preparation: I didn’t review the board package and am not ready to be constructive voice i the meeting.
  • Patience: We have no timelines for forced liquidity. You’ll know when the time is right to exit.
  • Experience: I know nothing about your product or market, but my firm thinks we need to be investing in this space.
  • I > U: Just one board meeting ought to prove it.

Things a Startup Founder Will Never Say

  • Uniqueness: We have no competition aside from the 5 other companies in our building.
  • Harmony: My co-founders are like family… the Menendez family.
  • Commitment: We’re in it for the long haul, unless we can get rich quick without having to build a real business.
  • Realism: Our financial projections are carefully calculated to be exactly 700% too high.
  • Humility: I’ll be happy to step down as CEO once you convince Steve Jobs to quit Apple and take the job.
  • Experience: I know nothing about sales, but I read a great post about it on Hacker News yesterday.
  • Consistency: We’re all about real-time, just like we were all about the iPhone las quarter, and Facebook apps before that.
  • Recruiting: My team is pretty weak, but all my friends who are any good already started their own companies.
  • Selectivity: I reached out to you because your portfolio shows that you are about as selective as Paris Hilton.
  • Preparedness: Our marketing plan is to pray for TechCrunch coverage.

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