Entrepreneurs, VCs, and Peeing on a Burning Bush

Many surreal things have happened to me as I hang with entrepreneurs  (including the time a runaway golf cart ran me over, but I digress). A recent incident, however, just joined the pantheon.

Four of us (two investors, and two entrepreneurs) were standing outside the Computer Science department of a well-known university, when I smelled smoke. I said, “Anyone else smell smoke?”. One of the company’s founders replied, “Yes, smells like wood smoke”, to which I responded with a typically wise-ass remark about the source being all the Big Thinking going on in the offices overhead.

A few minutes later, however, a fire sprung up under a nearby tree. Dead grass and ground cover that must have been smokily smoldering had ignited, complete with two-foot flames. It was surprisingly big, and it was growing.

Demonstrating, once again, that entrepreneurs are better than VCs at snap decisions, I was still suggesting spectacular but impractical solutions — “Uhhh, anyone need to pee?” — when one of the entrepreneurs rushed over and stamped out the fire. Whew!

In case anyone’s wondering, no-one heard voices from the burning bush, not Jehovah, and not Larry or Sergey for that matter.


  1. I expected the punchline to be “because of his demonstrated skills at crisis management, evident willingness to immerse himself in the problem, and ability to stand the heat, we then decided to invest $100 million in his company. We expect it to catch fire”.

  2. Thank GOD,you all didn’t pee on the fire to douse.

  3. Hah!