Vee see it our vay

So VC Guy Kawasaki has a blog now. What amuses me is that it fits the mold of so many other VCs’ blogs — many of which I read and enjoy — for they are filled with abstracted rules of venture life, like these from Kawasaki: “missions vs. mantras,” “the art of intrapreneurship,” “top 10 lies of venture capitalists.” I wonder whether they are following a leader or whether this is just the way VCs think and talk. (Around the table at home: “As part of my continuing series about how to present better dinnertime conversation, let me list the top 10 cliched lies Dads tell their startups, er, I mean, kids.”) It’s time for a VC to break free of the form: VC gossip, catty VC valuation badmouthing, anonymous confessions of the top 10 ways VCs blow off venture beggars, sex tips of the nearly wealthy…. Or perhaps follow Tom Evslin’s lead and tell funny stories with deeper meaning.

: Doc says here are three blogging VCs who break the mold.

And a contrarian friend of mine said:

What i find weak about the VC blogs is they are like business books – generalizations, guidelines at best, about business. But in the end, it’s about evaluating what has to be done in a particular situation – and the conventional wisdom doesn’t always apply. I’d rather see VCs talk about situations where they *didn’t* follow the business cliches. That takes real skill.

  • Some blogging VCs already break the mold. To find them, you have to look outside the star system Guy Kawasaki still represents. Here are three examples.

  • Talking about entrepreneurship in terms of how to be one is essentially boring, seeing it happen and talking about the concepts/business models/innovations that are shaping the world around it are exciting.

  • Andrew

    heh, the VC blogs sound like “coach-speak” that you always hear from coaches and players: “he has tremendous athletic ability, he can really move the ball down the field.” “We came out to play, but we have to focus on execution.” I guess every profession has its own happy-talk filler that just comes out of peoples’ mouths.

  • I really enjoy Fred’s postings along with Rick Segal’s (a Canadian blogging VC – a rare breed) and Brad Feld’s>. Although I have to admit that Fred and Brad are sometimes guilty of what you describe.

    I made a comment a few days ago about Guy’s blog and the content within it, and agreeing with your contrarian friend, I find it to be very business booky (especially books written by Guy).

    I don’t think I’ll win the bet with him, but I do hope he gets some new content.

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  • Relatively speaking, I find Guy’s writings more pragmatic than other VC’s. I did notice that much of his blog content so far have been directly from his latest book Art of the Start. So in that sense, it does have a somewhat “business booky” feel.

  • RonP

    having spent time worked with VC’s (as an entrepreneur) in good times and bad I would say that they really break the 80/20 mold, ie, 5% know what’s up and the other 95% are good for working an HP financial calculator but not much more. I am reminded of a quote from the movie Annie Hall, “You know, we had a saying, uh, that those who can’t do teach, and those who can’t teach, teach gym. And, uh, those who couldn’t do anything, I think, were assigned to our school.”

    if anybody here is starting a business do all that you can to fund the startup costs yourself or via friendly angel investors.

    don’t be sucked into the incestuous Haravard, Stanford, Wharton self-satisfied view of the world. having an mba is not the same as doing it. if you are about to take investment capital from a vc make sure that your contact and board rep has actually had some experience in the world. deal makers are great at the right place and time – they are of no use while you are trying to grow your business. Also do not mistake VC’s for friends – the relationship may be cordial but make no mistake your nuts will be cut off if you do not execute on your plan. that said the vc on your board can easily obstruct the success of your bplan via ignorance, ego, etc. – be wary. my view of vc’s on startup boards is the following : like pigeons they fly into your boardroom, eat all the food, crap on your table and then fly away.

  • Great commentaries here. I particularly love Jeff’s title of this posting. Very clever.

  • Oichi Ru

    I liked this response to the “top 10 lies” post :-)

  • What about Due Diligence, its one of the best tech-related blogs out there, by someone who’s a VC (IIRC):

  • All the VC’s that have their name attached to it will give you run of the mill, cookie cutter information. For real “gossip” the blog would have to be anonymous.. such as mine…

    These are rants on life in venture capital through the eyes of an assistant…