Some venture investors I know are masters at the art of expectation management. They’ll savage their own investments so thoroughly that partners are left with nothing to say in partnership meetings. Sometimes other partners will even say nice things about failing investments, just because things can’t possibly be as bad as the self-flagellating investor is acting.
Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie is apparently a master of this sort of thing as well. Here he is from yesterday at ETech announcing Microsoft’s new clipboard for the web:
If you walk out here when I’m done and you say “well, that wasn’t a very big deal” I will have accomplished my mission.
Masterfully done, Ray!