Do venture capitalists work on Christmas day?

The bigger the firm, the greater the number of partners, the less they “work” on holidays, “ski week”, and even over certain parts of the summer.

But …

Don’t be too critical.

Yes, VCs don’t work as hard as founders and yes, as stressful as investing can be, it’s not 1/10th as stressful as being a CEO.

But not working over holidays isn’t just a ski thing. VC firms are consensus-driven, and it’s basically impossible in any firm with >3 partners to drive consensus around Holiday times. If a key partner or two is out, usually, it’s better to wait to bring the deal to the full partnership. This means aligning on windows when everyone agrees to be in the office, at least the Monday of that week (Monday is when deals usually get presented and formally approved).

So right now, over the holidays, most bigger VC firms are close to shut down for new deals. But still very much working on deals-in-process and anything but approving new deals. I’m watching tons of emails go back and forth right now, and lots of folks are trying to close deals before the end of the year that have already been approved by their partnerships.

And small firms of 1–2 partners? Holiday season doesn’t matter so much there. They can make consensus decisions on Slack. Or if it’s a solo GP fund. In an instant.

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Published on December 22, 2017

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