☕ VCs: the dumbest guys in the room (and they know it)
An inch deep and a mile wide works well when you have all the money
As you start to pitch for capital you’ll recognize a couple of things:
No one really knows what they are doing. We’re all just rolling the dice and hoping our reality is the one that comes out on top.
No one has accomplished as much as they claim or has the depth of knowledge as they signal.
When it comes to VCs, those facts not only hold true but are heightened. VCs love what they are doing, and the drive often manifests itself in behaviors that may confuse the inexperienced as confidence. In reality, these folks have no more skill or knowledge that us mere mortals, but the fact that they hold the purse strings gives them a distinct advantage when it comes to closing a deal.
Its important to remember that the VCs you are talking to are, by definition, the dumbest people in the room. They also, however, KNOW they are the dumbest. Its that second point that a technically minded person often under accounts for.
The best in the business are self-aware enough to know what they don’t know, and be willing to admit that. They are also willing to exploit you the minute you don’t call them out on their sh**. These people can smell fear, and will leap on the opportunity to sell an individual short such that they can gain an advantage.
Remember, YOU are the authority and subject matter expert here. VCs aren’t expecting you to know their business better than they do. But they are looking for individuals who are equally self aware as they are.
When you’re in the room, know your limits, but also know your walls. When you KNOW something, its ok to push back. In fact, the rest of the room will respect you when you put someone in their place when its obvious they’ve over extended.
Pick your battles, but go for the jugular. You only have one shot, so why not go out in a blaze of glory?!