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