The VC Tribble Trouble

So you have a chance to drop by a venture capitalist’s office to talk up your business. Great. Better yet, the person with whom you’ve been emailing seems … downright human and decent. You’re looking forward to the get-together.

And then … you show up for this first meeting, thinking that you’ll have a nice, informal chat — and wham! There are five people in the meeting. There’s the person you emailed with, but there’s also an an entrepreneur-in-residence, two associates, and a partner who comes late, then keeps going in and out, checking email, and generally acts like he/she is double-parked.

Welcome to the VC tribble trouble. A one-VC meeting turns into a two-VC gab-fest, which turns into a four-VC presentation, and so on. As I was saying to someone in an email just now who (rightly) asked how many people were really likely to show up for their upcoming meeting, you should model most such things as 1 <= VC <= 4. If you genuinely want fewer people then be darn sure to say so, otherwise it’ll be venture tribbles. Trust me.


  1. Brilliant reference, among the most underused in TV sci-fi lore. I fear anyone younger than about 33 or so will be completely lost, but, oh well. Their loss. Especially if they’ve got a pitch meeting scheduled!