Ten Commandments

Restating My Operating Values

A couple of years after I first got into VC I wrote a post called “Top Ten List: How The Best VCs Interact With Entrepreneurs.” The post was designed to be more or less the ten commandments of being a good investor (as I saw them).

Since posting this, I’ve tried to live up to these values. They’ve been my north star. It hasn’t always been easy. For example, with 500+ emails pitched at me each day taking a swing at each isn’t always easy. But, with a lot of effort I’ve been able to bounce down to inbox zero a few times a day.

In my mind, the ten commandments have changed a little bit as my view on the role of an investor has broadened to include the role of an incubator. The better part of a decade later, it feels like it’s the right time to re-post an updated version here.


Top Ten Ways In Which The Best VCs Interact With Entrepreneurs

  1. Be respectful of entrepreneurs and their efforts – remember that they are changing the world.
  2. Handle sensitive information carefully.
  3. Be forthcoming about potential conflicts of interest.
  4. Be honest about your intentions.
  5. Respond as promptly as possible.
  6. Help entrepreneurs when possible regardless of whether or not you intend to invest.
  7. Ensure that your partners share in the upside.
  8. Provide value to your partners.
  9. Pursue the strategies that maximize the greater good, not just your own.
  10. Support the startup community.
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