I think nary a week goes by where someone doesn’t ask me how VC is going and when am I going back. I guess back means to return to building something, joining a company or working on a product.
It’s normally something that requires a longer answer but usually I say ask me in 10 years. That’s cause it will probably take me that long to see if I am any good at this VC thing.
That being said I think people ask this due to the very nature of VC being somewhat transactional and maybe building something is more of a co-op approach since there are teams involved all working together to ship. It is a sentiment I think about a lot.
Saw this tweet the other day and was thinking about it even more:
However I always consider that there may be a better way but I am not saying I discovered it but highlighting that each and every craftsman in the world can approach their craft with a new frame of mind. With VC I think about what that means often.
Let me run down a few areas I think as a VC I can be more like the product person still living inside me:
- Be open and transparent. Of course not everyone reacts well to this but I find a certain amount of it works
- Be humble
- Be helpful
- Have empathy for the founder and the other people/organizations in the mix
- Try to write often enough so people can see what’s on my mind and how I feel about something
- Continue to focus on doing the right thing – it may not payoff immediately but I believe it will win in the end
- Learn to listen more – speak less. I am terrible at this but I am very conscious of improving it. That’s a start right? 😉
- Foster an ecosystem since everyone will benefit (https://alpha.seedplus.com)
- Be company friendly. This is a long one to explain but I think the right folks now what I mean
I don’t intend to go back as some people call it since I think I moved forward while still getting better at my craft. I see my craft as helping build great companies by being their investor and whatever else they need me to be while I am in that role.
Pretty sure that is similar to what I did as a product person but I am not an employee or a founder.
However the North Star feels similar to me.
Your mileage may vary.