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Really? I get the strong impression (what with people throwing the word bubble around and making regular comparisons to the dotcom era) that VC's are far less picky today then they were 10 years ago.

The hardware companies you know today weren't founded in the 2000s. The golden age of hardware startups was the 70s/80s.

Well, lets tease this apart.

Hardware startups are still being funded. Software startups are still being funded. Life science startups are still being funded. And it's a lot of the same old line VCs who are doing these deals. I'm thinking $15M-$20M first round, with companies need significant funding but get quite large.

Then there are a ton of small companies, many of which are really small businesses (just look at the list of companies at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9666013), that are getting small amounts of funding ("spray and pray" funds). Are their funders really "VCs" in the classic sense when the amount they invest is =< $100K and they can't participate in future rounds? Although they get a most of the press for "startups" and "VCs", and they are the volume in absolute sense, most of these seem designed to run for a little while and then be aquihired away. So no need to build most of the infrastructure for a sustainable business. In that role, the "VCs" are really more like agents getting a commission on the aquihire.

It's the latter that aren't particularly picky. The traditional VCs seem mostly to still look for the same things.

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