Friday, May 2, 2008

Why Are Some VC Associates Tools?

Recently I've had several discussions with my friends that are entrepreneurs and VCs about some of the amusing but stupid behavior or arrogance of associates at venture capital firms. For those of you that don't know, associates are the the mid-level professionals at VC firms, who are typically recent MBA graduates.

For some reason, a small percentage of this group don't represent their firms well. One of my friends was telling us about one associate that was stating that he could tell whether a startup was worth investing in within 10 seconds of a presentation. Really? You can assess the technology, team and market of all startups within 10 seconds? He should be on Jeopardy, not a VC. The amusing part about this story was that he went on to found a company that was mediocre at best.

Another friend was telling me how during a pitch one associate had his head buried in his Blackberry typing away, so this seasoned entrepreneur stopped and loudly told him, "Excuse, you should stop being rude. Did you know that I'm childhood friends with your partner?"

The associate immediately stopped and paid attention. Tool.

One story had an associate chiming in with stupid questions, so the partner in the meeting politely asked him to get some coffee for those in the meeting. This happened twice. I assume he didn't last long at this firm.

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