Nick is a great "rabble rouser". I remember when he got all the pro-RISC professors at UC Berkeley mad at him by arguing RISC vs CISC was unimportant because modern CISC chips translated CISC to RISC internally.
My thoughts exactly. Sure hope the YC guys become rich enough to fund people beyond a couple of months. Right now their main value seems to be in the connections they create for you.
Couldn't agree more!
holds out hands expectantly
I'd toss money aside if I could just find some actual programmers who can help put together and launch a semi-scalable demo (I may be able to put together a professional "A" series through some contacts if I have something to show). At the very least I'd love to talk to someone knowledgeable who can at least help me figure out cost scenarios, most of which are technical, so I can present a credible b-plan.
Where I live (NYC) just a bunch of entrepreneur-wannabe poseurs who attend lots of Meetups and presentations but are too scared to actually "do it" ... and of course the "professional" development houses who will gladly talk to me ... AFTER I raise the capital, which, of course, is completely useless as a value added.
Any thoughts on the subject, feel free to email me @: emailadrian "at" inbox "dot" com.
BUT ask for follow through with different behavior, ie, "action", and all of a sudden it's the rolling of the eyes, and "yeh, well, you know, the thing is .." and lots of cricket-chirp cricket-chirp cricket-chirp
PG is an obvious exception, though by all accounts it seems as if his YC commitments still allow him to do nerdy stuff.
Let's not alienate anybody. For all you know there might be some guy who made a fortune in something mundane and may want to invest in promising young people and he's reading this and thinking, "Oh, I see, they only want money from "nerds" with engineering degrees ... guess my money's not good enough for them."
Personally I'd take money from anybody who made it any way other than as a result of hurting someone in the process and could care less about their "pedigree" or "nerd-factor" ... the fact that they may have made it without the advantages of a masters from MIT just tells me they have THAT MUCH MORE streetsmarts to compensate ...
Seriously, after you've bought the houses, the cars, the trophy wives, what else is there other than to get involved in the process?
Isn't that everybody's dream, the old, "Boy if I ever made it, I would do things SOOOOO differently!"
Otherwise, what's the point?
If I ever made it, the FIRST thing I would do (besides paying down my credit cards and finding a slightly larger apartment) is to try my hand at "doing things the way I wish they were done" ...
I think it would be a heck of a lot more fun putting yuppie ivy-league mbas out of business than spending money on fancy food and cars and designer suits ...
But then again I don't have a lot of money so what do I know? Maybe once you have the money and can actually afford those things you develop an inevitable, "the hell with everyone else" attitude ...
Any VCs around who want to defend themselves? I think this just convinced me to self-fund or engineer-fund every venture I plan. (Surely doesn't hurt VCs, because someone else will be in line.)
Tried another startup a year later and got sued by the EIR who claimed at first that our ideas were very similar ... then so similar that in fact he thought I "stole" what he saw as "his" idea.
I couldn't believe the nerve, and yet there they were, grown men twice my age who made million screwing me over without a second thought about all the crap they pay lip service to on their websites (ie, "Our reputations mean everything to us" and "Our honesty is the basis of our credibility") and all sorts of other mumbo jumo.
IN CONCLUSION: By all means keep at it, but be very, very careful - if they screw up they're still VC partners or EIRs, but you're done for at least that idea.
This article just struck a nerve and I wanted to add my 2 cents ...
That's why I get miffed whenever I hear talk of "ideas are nothing, it's all in the execution" because I couldn't help but think that those two EIRs weren't executing jack-sh@# before I told them the idea and HOW to execute better than anybody else could, what to do when you had duplicators, etc.
Never mind me, I'm just a rampbling, bitter old man in a young man's body ...
Where they nabbed vcs for trying to create multiple accounts and artificially up their own ratings on the system to make themselves seem to have a good rep ...
Who is mentioned prominently?
I was shocked that their rating was so high ... almost too high ... and I though perhaps the guy had a serious spiritual soul-searching session after 9.11 or something and decided to play it square.
Instead he will now be forever branded, through nobody's fault but his own, as "the guy who tried to manipulate his own Funded rep in that Venture Beat article.
Karma worked, in this case at least - in this lifetime!
I feel ... sniff sniff ... sob ... vindicated ...
It's been a long journey.
I'd like to thank my manager, my hairstylist, my dance coach ... there's just to many people to keep track of so don't be offended if I miss you ...
It lead me to this FastCompany Article: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html?page=0...
There's a particular part mentioned on the second page of that article: "And this summer, together with New York industrial psychologist Paul Babiak, Hare begins marketing the B-Scan, a personality test that companies can use to spot job candidates who may have an MBA but lack a conscience."
... This is going off-tangent, but what do you think? Higher percentage of VCs who would be rated as moderately psychopathic or antisocial? http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=114422
At the same time, I don't want to deal with anything described in that essay. If I can find it, I'll take the angel funding until I absolutely cannot continue without professional help and my angel can't provide it.
Actually, though they'll never tell you, and often say the opposite on their websites, VCs view big time involvement in your day to day business as a sign of trouble - ideally they want to sit on their rear ends, visit you once a month and tell you to "optimize the radical paradigm shift" then go home and write a blog about their value added and entrepreneurs should be grateful they have VCs telling them how to do such things.
When they actually do have to get involved, they'll do so as the article suggests and "punish you" by shoving "their team" in your startup with a "see what you made me do? See what happens when you make me break a sweat?" attitude.
IN CONCLUSION: Just because you don't know it, doesn't mean you should assume that some smug, confident-looking guy sitting across the table from you (the VC) DOES know how to do it. For all you know he might be as clueless as you.
There was an awesome article on this subject from about 10 years ago called something like, "The pussification of silicon valley"
The VC's CEO gets 10 percent of the company. VC-placed board members get 1 percent each. Your entire technical team gets as much as 15 percent. Venture firms get the rest.
is no longer true, is it?
It's a great article that came out in the Sep 2001 Spectrum (on-line edition).
On the other hand I've formed some friendships with a few high placed people in a large company here and there, and they assure me that pretensions aside, VCs usually spend most of their time calling contacts in the corporate world begging for deal flow.
Most VC is just bluff.