News that Evan William is taking venture money for Twitter got me thinking. Is VC bashing finally passe?
We went through a period in the late 1990s during which people lusted after VCs and stalked them at conferences. It was as if people believed that not only was venture capital crucial, but a VC imprimatur was the surest sign of future success. That was complete moonshine, of course.
More recently we have been through another period (which is still ongoing in some remote geographies) when it has been cool to bash VCs. They’re clueless! They’re old! They’re dumb! They wear funny clothes! They can’t code! They passed on my last deal! Usually people then went on to talk about how the economics of startups had changed, and how you could build a consumer IT company on a VC-less shoestring, and then sell it for $5m. Coool.
Now, however, I am increasingly at conferences and elsewhere where some of the smartest entrepreneurs I know roll their eyes when any VC-bashing starts: “Dude, that’s so 2005.” Instead, people who need outside capital/network/assistance are coming looking for it; and people who don’t need it are operating without. Neither feel the need to pretend that we live in a world where either you need venture capital, or you don’t. Nice.
Reasonableness and realism in the VC/entrepreneur relationship. Who would have thought?