Want To Be A TechStar? Read Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson's New Book: Venture Deals - Page 3
Then you have a category of VCs who are uninspiring. Hanging onto a certain dynamic between the entrepreneur and the VC where the entrepreneur is somehow one down or subordinated from the VC. In the mid-90’s…, at the tail end of being an entrepreneur, I found that behavior to be particularly off-putting and frankly irrelevant. In today’s day and age, the entrepreneur should be one up to the investor...the investor should be focused on enabling the entrepreneur in every way they can. That category tends to be silent about this stuff. They look at it and shake their heads. The same group that says, ‘Oh, gosh. Why are you spending any time blogging?’ It’s also the same group that says, ‘We’re value-added investors.’ When anyone says what they are, my reaction is that they are probably not that.
There is the third category…they’re just bad people. They are people that are never going to engage with an entrepreneur in an effective way. The negative responses to the book, which have been very few, mostly come from (this) category. It kind of like people who give you a negative response and you don’t really care what their response is anyway.
We talk about that in the book in the context of how entrepreneurs should think about VCs. It’s important not to think about venture capital firms, but individual venture capitalists. There are some great individual venture capitalists who are members of really crummy firms and vice versa.”
I have always been intrigued with the co-authoring process, which prompted me to ask Brad if his collaboration with Jason differed from how he and David Cohen created Do More Faster. “Jason and I have a pretty good back-and-forth writing style. It took shape that way, it was a very collaborative writing effort.
David and I had a little bit more of a divide and conquer approach. That book is a compilation of our writing and a bunch of the mentors and the entrepreneurs in the TechStars program. That was a little bit more of a managed process. I enjoyed both (approaches), a lot.
With Venture Deals…it sounds like it’s in a single voice. We worked really hard…to merge them into a uniform writing style. We didn’t have too many content arguments. There were a few places where we disagreed how to present a topic. But most of the time, it got better with each iteration.”
Brad and his partners clearly take themselves far too seriously – as anyone who has watched the “shower scene” from their infamous I Am VC music video can attest. Given the unconventional nature of the video, I asked Brad to elaborate on its genesis and the venture community’s overall reaction. “(The reaction has been) mostly really positive. One of the things we have always tried to do is poke fun at ourselves and be lighthearted. We view the experience of being a venture capitalist as an experience of life. One of the mistakes people make is that they take life way too seriously.Continued on the next page