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Why bryce is a really leaving Angel List (calacanis.com)
42 points by jasonmcalacanis on Feb 26, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments



It always cracks me up to see Calacanis accuse someone else of grandstanding... That's classic.

On the investment side, I think it's interesting how some of the older notions of control and influence by investors in a startup are changing. Surely this is one of the best times in recent memory to start a tech company.


... Proving, once again, that despite his successes, Calacanis has a fundamental lack of professionalism and respect.


Oh please. Blogging is full-contact sport. if Bryce wants to leave @angellist in a huge cry-baby post, he can handle honest response.

You want me to sugar coat it for you Taylor? Here ya go:

"Despite Bryce's interesting thoughts on the value of angel communities like Angle List, I'm left wondering if some portion of his problem might be driven by the fact that said service might make competing for deals a little harder."

You want more PR speak than that?! I can write it in any tone you like kid... you want it in a waltz or blue grass version?

I'm the master of blunt, but I can give you medicine any way you want to take it..... but you're taking the medicine at the end of the day.


Master of blunt indeed. I'll admit you're exactly right--the active ingredient in those two differing styles is the same. But it all boils down to a difference in philosophy. There's something to be said for being blunt and never pulling a punch. There's also something to be said for trying to be a peace maker. At the end of the day, the ideal mix is somewhere in between. I guess I just find always jumping to the 'full-contact sport' mentality distasteful.


He has a point though.

From an entrepreneur's perspective, investors who talk about needing more control, priced rounds, etc. so that they can add more value are no longer attractive to work with. There is nothing stopping an investor from adding value regardless of the structure of the deal.

It comes down to control and the incentives for seed-stage startups giving up so much control at an early stage are simply no longer there.


Sure. I don't really take issue with the points he's making; more the way he's decided to make them.


It's just part of his shtick. I wouldn't really say that it's a lack of professionalism, so much as a conscious choice to project a brash, unremorseful, "I don't care" attitude. Now maybe some people would say that that's the same thing as not being professional, but I would disagree. And anyway, it seems to work for him, just like it does for Drew Rosenhaus (famous NFL agent) and others.


OMG, we have a HN contributor who understands the use of tone!!!!

May I offer you a complimentary ticket to the @LAUNCH HackAThon taking place on May 23-25th here in San Francisco?


May I offer you a complimentary ticket to the @LAUNCH HackAThon taking place on May 23-25th here in San Francisco?

Sure. :-)


yeah but JC the smart ones HN that understand tone usually get downvoted..:)


JC, if the startup that is attempting to get me to do a mobile prototype will allow me to attend..sure :)


Just like with New Yorkers and Parisians, people confuse being blunt and direct with being rude. He may be abrasive, but that's not necessarily unprofessional.


I can never really figure out if I think Calacanis is awesome or if I think he's terrible, and for that I think he's pretty awesome.


Good luck finding deals off of Angel List, because those deals will be in companies run by very stupid entrepreneurs. If you’re an entrepreneur you’re going to embrace Angel List because that’s where the passionate, low-return driven money is.

Are you saying that if a startup would rather take money from someone like OATV then they are stupid entrepreneurs?

Good luck playing with your ball in that backyard with mommy. The rest of us are going to Naval’s playground.

Am I correct to think that Naval does an initial screen of applicants before sending them on to members of the list? If so, aren't you trusting Naval's selection bias / pattern matching? What if you don't want that as an investor?


1. I think if you are an entrepreneur and you skip angel list that you are stupid. Not sure how you make the logic jump from that statement over to "taking money from OATV makes you stupid."

Obviously OATV is a fine firm, and taking money from them is great. It's ignoring Angel List that would be stupid.

And certainly it's stupid for OATV to ignore/block out angel list... that's sort of the point of my calling out Bryce. Who in their right mind would block a potential deal and information source!??!!? That's just idiotic... and I know Bryce isn't an idiot.

Thus my conclusion that Bryce is grandstanding for attention..... mission accomplished!

2. Naval does a light screen and "short circulation" from what i understand. This means he'll send a deal to < 10 folks to see if it's get traction before blasting everyone. So, it's sort of two-layer filtering I guess.

You won't see bad, or un-fundable, companies on angel list. However, you will see a range of weak to strong ones.


Thanks for the response.

I think if you are an entrepreneur and you skip angel list that you are stupid. Not sure how you make the logic jump from that statement over to "taking money from OATV makes you stupid."

I should have clarified: some entrepreneurs may fail to raise money from AngelList but that doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't try to raise money elsewhere and it also doesn't mean they won't ultimately succeed.

Also, a startup may have an awesome team or product but without social proof they will likely fare better applying to YC/TechStars/incubator than AL.


2. that's the difference. i know a company that was screened off from both angel list (almost a year ago when it was not that hot) and open angel forum, but it is definitely good and fundable.

so looks like only people who take decisions by themselves, not relying on an opinion of a crowd, would win that deal ;)


This is why I like to read Calacanis and Ferris, it's a lot like reading the editorial section of the paper. (What's a newspaper?) You may love 'em or hate 'em but at least you know where you stand.


i see myself how investors think by patterns. so @bryce's right, we would be happy to meet an investor that don't ask the same questions answers on which we just can learn.

and, how investors consider themselves sortof saviors, ones in the millions, which is bad for the deal as well. so @jason is right too.

now, peace!




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