What is the best move for a startup founder to make when he talks to a completely rude and arrogant potential investor?

Look, I can’t stand this either.

But …

Get Over It.  Smile, say Thank You, and Move On.


  • Are a pretty ego-driven bunch, in part because they themselves are being judged as a number (their returns), and in part because that’s the internal culture at many firms (my cos. are the best ones), in part because many are really smart … and in part because they aren’t the CEO … so they aren’t the ones really creating value, not really;
  • Often talk a little bit out of the arse b/c they don’t truly have domain / operationally experience in an area (really, they can’t, they do too many things to be an expert in any one except venture capital itself); AND
  • Usually hear HUNDREDS of pitches a year and meet hundreds more founders.

There’s no excuse for being rude.  Mom taught us that. 

But while you don’t need to be sympathetic … you need to understand that’s how VC is … and thicken your skin.

Thickening you skin, dealing with all different sorts of folks, and doing what it takes to win — that’s a big part of the job of CEO.

And … you may just need that guy for your Series C.  You never know.

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Published on September 2, 2015

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