Getting A VC Job
How do you get a job in VC?
It’s the second most common thing people ask me (after how do I get a VC to invest in my business?).
The truth is the odds of both are about the same. Very long.
And as hard as I try, I really can’t help most of the smart, capable young people who come to my office asking me that question. The demand for VC jobs is way in excess of the supply and probably always will be.
So I was pleased to see the blog post from Seth Levine of Mobius Venture Capital on this subject.
Seth has some good thoughts on the subject. The best is the way he explains the economics of an entry level position in the VC business.
As a non-partner you are
fundamentally a cost center. The
partners are quite literally taking money out of their own pockets and giving
it to you. Rationally, they will only do
this for one of two reasons – either you are significantly impacting their
lives in a positive way that makes the trade-off worthwhile for them (you cost
less than the marginal life benefit they get from having you around) and/or you
will help create more carry (i.e., they can manage more deals with you around
and therefore deploy more capital; you have a skill set that will positively
affects the portfolio, etc.). If you
fail to do these things you are just eating up management fees.
Seth’s got this right. VC firms are owned and operated by the partners. They are small businesses where the profits flow to the partners. Hiring decisions are very rational in this kind of environment.