Inexperienced Entrepreneurs Can't Get Money

from the so-they-say dept

Another one of these silly conferences where VCs say something that’s exaggerated and everyone takes their word on it. The latest is the idea that inexperienced entrepreneurs can’t raise money. It makes for a good soundbite, but it doesn’t necessarily seem true. I’ve seen a number of inexperienced entrepreneurs raise money recently. Also, I think it’s amusing that VCs still say they’re impressed by people who admit they need to bring in a CEO. Anyone who isn’t very experienced and goes to a VC saying anything else has apparently not read anything on how to raise money – as that’s the first bit of advice even the most basic guides give. Of course, no one mentions that many of the world’s biggest tech companies were founded by inexperienced entrepreneurs who kept the CEO title. But, why rock the boat? The VCs obviously are right.

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Comments on “Inexperienced Entrepreneurs Can't Get Money”

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Clous says:

VC panel

I attended the entrepreneurship event at the Stanford GSB yesterday, and sat in and listened to the this particular panel intently. This article is full of misquotes and misunderstandings. Actually, its disgustingly off from what really was SAID and meant, and the general mood of the conference. I don’t even know where to begin with it. Its obvious that the author has never been and never will be an entrepreneur or a venture capitalist, and thus has no understanding of either side of the fence.

While this session was definately the most serious, one must remember that venture capitalists are somewhat pessimistic by nature, by habit and rearing. Other sessions were encouraging to entrepreneurs, and the mood was generally upbeat, especially in light of the NASDAQ crash. The article does not mention that Jeff Hawkins gave a very exciting speech as the keynote speaker, and was quite encouraging to the entrepreneurs in the crowd.

Also, Mike Goguen from Sequioa did mention that they are still investing in startups, and want to be in early. The other venture guys as well are still hip to make investments, just not at last year’s pace, which was simply crazy.

The REAL entrepreneurs will listen to the concerns but move on, full force ahead. They are tough guys who don’t listen to what people say anyway. There is always room for entrepreneurs, in any economy. However, the true entrepreneur will discover new spaces and business models, and may even be contrarian. I had lunch with two entrepreneurs who are starting something in the energy space, which is obviously most problematic right now, for instance.

Stanford, like many business schools, had a bunch of “me-too” MBA’s that started businesses over the last couple of years in the internet space. Most of these people are better suited for 40 hour work weeks at P & G trying to figure out how to sell more toilet paper. Moreover, remember that the historical average of entrepreneurs coming straight from the Stanford GSB is only 1 – 2% annually. That’s it. But more than any other business school.

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