Video Of The Week: Brian Watson On How To Email A VC

Brian Watson worked at USV from 2012 to 2014. I just came across a very short video (~2mins) in which he answers a great question (how to email a VC). I agree with the basics (keep it short, make it actionable, be real, and link to your product). Here is it in his own words.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    “…this guy Albert”

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Was worth the watch, just for that.

  2. jason wright

    slow week?

    1. fredwilson

      The opposite. Crazy week can barely breathe

      1. jason wright

        today’s theme has a solution. deploy the secret weapon, the USV chat bot, AKA the Brian Bot.

  3. pointsnfigures

    Great advice about researching the person you email to see if they might have an interest in what you were doing. If I was raising money for a networked hardware product, I don’t think I’d email Fred. But, if I was doing a Bitcoin thing, I would. Doing your homework before you email shows that you care.

    1. fredwilson


    2. LE

      If I was raising money for a networked hardware product, I don’t think I’d email Fred.Sure you’d pick the best person at the firm. But what if there wasn’t a clear prospect?Well you could still email and ask for a referral. Don’t even pitch. Just go for the referral. Then you could email the person referred and use Fred’s name in the subject line. That would get someone’s attention and increase the chance that the email was considered, opened and read.Don’t worry if you are annoying “Fred” (or pick whoever you want). If you worry about that you will never get anywhere. And “Fred” wouldn’t remember he would either give you a lead, or not say anything. “Fred” here means someone like Fred not that I am saying someone should annoy Fred specifically.That said everything starts with research in order to improve your chances of success when trying to sell and find some angle or hook.

      1. Wyatt Brown

        Golden Rule : Don’t annoy “Fred” 🙂

  4. LIAD

    Summer of 2011 (I think) had reason to email 3*billionaires – all at the height of their success, in the midst of taking their companies public.Reid Hoffman, Mark Pincus and Eric Lefkofsky. I was unknown to them and had absolutely nothing of value to offer them, relative to their status. All of them replied within a few hours. Not because I was cool. But because they were.Contrast that with emailing a middle manager somewhere and getting a response after 3 weeks. “sorry, terribly busy”. What a load of bull.If cash billionaires have a second to reply you can be damn sure you do too!

    1. fredwilson

      I know all three and am not the least bit surprised

    2. Erin

      Billionaires have executive secretaries who reply to everything and forward off whatever they can’t answer. They’re their right-hand men and women, answering e-mails and texts in the middle of the night. Middle managers don’t necessarily have a secretary and if they do, the secretary is overworked, deletes, recycles, and unsubscribes from everything s/he can legitimately and legally get away with, leaves at 4:30 and doesn’t get paid enough to care about having the mental synergy with their boss that you might see with a billionnaire.

      1. LIAD

        I hear you. But the 3 I mentioned were not by EAs. Were from them personally, sent from iPhone etc. Just a line or 2.Action begets action. These guys didn’t get where they are by hiving off inbound opportunity

        1. Erin

          No I’m saying if it landed in the EA’s box, they probably had that mental synergy with their boss to know he was interested in reading those types of e-mails. But it could be you got the boss himself. Either way, it was a well-written e-mail.

        2. awaldstein

          II wrote a personal email to Bezos a couple of years ago telling him why his wine business on Amazon would fail for the third time.He emailed back and connected me to his GM who then consequently flaked.

        3. Donna Brewington White

          Exactly. Gives me a lot to live up to.

      2. JLM

        .Haha, reality pricks the bubble.I know. I used to be that guy once upon a time. Before the invention of email, mind you.I used to have my CEO’s correspondence answered every day before I went home. Every. Freakin’. Day.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Erin

          You just made me raise my game, although I’m sure you deleted (ripped up?) stuff too.

    3. LE

      Reid Hoffman, Mark Pincus and Eric Lefkofsky.Well per my other comment all of those people (vs. the middle manager) are in the business of uncovering “talent” and making connections that might pay off in the future. The middle manager (or head of a small company) is not. They aren’t cool as much as they find it good business to act in that manner. Even I realize this played a part in the response that I got with Draper as much as the way I approached and got his attention.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      I’ve had the same experience. I remember doing a CEO search — a first for me– which required reaching out to a whole new level of executive. In addition to prospective candidates for this early stage startup, I audaciously (but with inner fear and trembling) selected a handful of the top tech CEOs of the time to request referrals. Every single one responded and some even gave me referrals. I was shocked. I was a small-time independent recruiter with no name recognition whatsoever.

      1. Peter Beddows

        Knowing you at a distance @donnawhite:disqus as I have come to know you via AVC, other blogs and occasional direct communications between us over time, I am not at all surprised that you would get responses from executives and other successful high level people. You clearly have the chutzpah along with a keen intuitive sense for what works and how to accomplish your goals or you would not have had the success you have had in building your own recruiting practice. I would not hesitate to call upon you for help if I were ever in need of your type of services and capabilities. 🙂

        1. Donna Brewington White

          You are always so kind, Peter. Thank you.I am a work-in-progress and so is my business. Always.I hope you are well!

          1. Peter Beddows

            Thank you @donnawhite:disqus. Those amongst us that do not recognise that we are all “works in progress” and that we are “all in this soup together” are the ones who are missing the point of being here in the first place and thus missing out on a terrific opportunity! 🙂 But that’s just my personal opinion.

  5. awaldstein

    Big believer in having one link that quickly takes it from hey here i am to hey here’s what i’m doing or a product or something that show a outward looking view that you understand what you are doing or who you are in the face of a market.

  6. Perry Chance

    Hey Mr. Wilson, why don’t you offer some advice to an “aspiring VC” on “How to dismiss entrepreneurs while still being able to keep an image of being a pro-entrepeneur/mentor VC and not come off as disingenuous.” From my understanding, my colleague keeps e-mailing you when I’ve reiterated that “travel isn’t your thing.” For the life of me, I can’t get it through to him that he just doesn’t have the right pedigree; so annoying… SMH. By the way, any summer internships available at USV for a 35 y/o community-college dropout, native NYer?

  7. Rob Underwood

    Darn. I thought the 9 paragraph email with nested bulleted lists was the way to go.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Well, closer to the norm is a foil deck with about nine foils, each foil with just a few words in huge type.

    2. fredwilson

      i got about a dozen of those yesterday

  8. William Mougayar

    Yup, it’s about the hook.

  9. JLM

    .Be kind to everyone you can on the way up because you never know who you will need on the way down.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Would make a great Broadway musical actually.

      1. sigmaalgebra


    2. george

      Such a true statement and solid advice!

    3. Peter Beddows

      @JLM:disqus I first came across that great advice some 50 years or so ago (there, I’ve admitted my age!) when I was leaving a private British company that, like Bechtel, built huge industrial furnaces around the globe: I had been offered a position at another company.The chairman called me to his office and I was literally quaking in my boots to be summoned to such high level meeting. He wanted to wish me well in my future endeavours. When I asked, in surprise, why he took his valuable time to call me up to his office just to say that, he said “Be kind to everyone you can on the way up because you never know who you will need on the way down” and also said, “besides, you can never know if some day our positions may be reversed and you could be the chairman whom I am summoned to meet!” Needless to say, I have never forgotten that great advice.

      1. JLM

        .I did some business w/ Bechtel once upon a time. Know what I learned?Bechtel rhymes with “rectal.”Learned that from Steve Bechtel.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Peter Beddows

          True that @JLM:disqus. 🙂 Interesting family!!! Fortunately, the company that I was with back then in London was nothing like Bechtel in practice; I reference Bechtel here only as a functional example because more people have heard of what they do/did as a civil engineering construction company than would have ever heard of my London company even though we put huge custom furnaces in all around the world. As an instrumentation, process control and automation engineer, I had a most enjoyable and learning experience working with my London based company that was the foundation for an operations and business management career that ultimately got me an invitation to transfer, with my family, to the US so many years ago now to start up a new business division here in the states. Of course, following Peter Drucker as my guide also helped. 🙂 But onwards and upwards; I digress.

  10. Phil Chacko

    Constantly learning to navigate the etiquette. I’m putting in a big product vision sentence, evidence of traction (even if early and light), size of opportunity, with bullets on our team “below the fold.”Is that a decent template? Continually calibrating, as there’s a whole culture to learn here. (First time founders, pre-seed round.)

  11. sigmaalgebra

    It has been said, and sounds good, that one of the most important decisions to make in business, especially in a startup, is who you select and agree to work with.His thinking and speaking are not nearly careful, serious, informed, and thoughtful enough for me to report to a BoD with him on it.

  12. LE

    On the cold calling scale of difficulty emailing a VC is almost certainly on the easier side (compared to sales prospects). They are in the business of finding new opportunities it’s their job. As opposed to a sales prospect who you are most likely bothering because they are complacent with the way they are doing things and don’t want to spend the time to review what you are selling unless they happen to have a need and you come strolling by at the right time. [1] If you can’t figure out a way to get the attention of a VC by being creative [2] in some way with what you say, what you do, or persistence, you will never be able to sell your product (assuming it needs to be sold that way but let’s face it even if it’s not done by cold calling knowing how to sell is essential).My quick advice (and I could go on and on about this) is to practice on people you don’t think are your best prospects [3] to find the things that work for you given what you are doing. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to do this they want to jump right in and screw up on their best prospects. They don’t want to put the effort in they want the quick results. Practice. [3] [1] Also if a purchasing agent whereby YMMV with the agent and the product/service.[2] Creative. An example of this is when, back in the 90’s, I sent an email to Tim Draper. He was on Silicon Spin TV show one night and my ex wife walked in and said “he’s good looking” or something like that. At that point I knew instantly that was my hook. The next day I emailed him and started off with what my wife said and got a near instant response. He also remembered me when I emailed him a few years later about something different (and was glad to take a meeting).[3] Just this week I cold emailed a person who I did not know at all to see if I could get a job interview for someone that was closing their business. The angle was simply that I had seen their advertising and one other thing I won’t mention. The person who needed the job didn’t ask me to do that, didn’t know, – I didn’t ask permission. I just did it for fun to see if I could get a response (a game I play). It worked I got a reply literally in an hour. The interview date has been set. I also advised that the person needing the job not do a phone interview but to travel to NYC and say they were going to be there anyway to make an in person impression. I thought they’d come across better (ala Kennedy v. Nixon) this way. Not to be lazy and do the easiest thing…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, getting a little attention from a VC is not very difficult, easier than, say, a salesman getting attention from someone in business.E.g., I have a cousin who is the main supplier, private label of industrial floor cleaning supplies for a major US state. His father was a whiz-bang salesman and taught his son. Sure, how they get some initial attention of a new customer would be for most entrepreneurs more difficult than getting some initial attention from a VC. But if don’t have a dream deal like I outlined, then getting a check is really difficult, much more difficult than selling a 55 gallon drum of floor cleaning solution. My cousin is not wealthy, but, when he wants a new car, he goes for a high end brand and buys two, His and Hers.As I’ve tried to outline here at AVC, in Silicon Valley there is a fundamental issue: What is really wanted is something exceptional, but for that Silicon Valley has too few of the needed people on either side of the table. As a result, on average, VC returns are poor. Really, for nearly all good entrepreneurs, the VC system is a fool’s errand.

      1. LE

        His father was a whiz-bang salesman and taught his sonindustrial floor cleaning suppliesbut, when he wants a new car, he goes for a high end brand and buys twoWell going strictly on what you are saying here and not knowing anymore, this type of business is notorious for giving gifts (or in some cases bribes) to get people to buy the products. Even the mail order catalogs do this lightly (Quill used to do it) you get something in a cracker jack box in exchange for placing an order. This comes from encyclopedic knowledge of these types of business over the years, not something that I read.Which gives me an opportunity to add “there ain’t no coupe Deville hiding in the bottom of the cracker jack box”. Here I cued up the spot for you….

        1. sigmaalgebra

          So, that was Meat Loaf. I’ve heard of him but never before heard his music. Well, it was noisy! And in the sense of art as the communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion, there was some there. I didn’t really understand the words, but I can guess that I’ve had some such emotions.For such an emotion, more effective for me is the 2nd movement, starting at about 11:00 of especially the flute and clarinet solos, in Anna Fedorova, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no.2 op.18…That performance is popular, 7+ million views.With my verbal interpretation, the main theme there is an analog of thinking about the girl, desperate to understand what has been going on but having trouble understanding anything at all and that because the reality is so darned hidden and subtle. Later the music is like his and her running together through a field of wild flowers to a nice tent in the woods, right, to start their family!Your remark on how to sell 55 gallon drums of floor cleaner might be correct. I mean, how the heck else?There’s a lot of variety in approaches to being successful in business. In the US, likely some tens of millions of entrepreneurs are successful in business, and I want to be, also. If the best opportunity I could think of was a pizza carryout, then I’d do that. I’m not impressed with the Silicon Valley approach of swinging for the fences with a big burn rate and several rounds of equity funding: The batting average looks too low, and I want a project that has very high probability of letting me do at least as well as with a good pizza carryout.Net, the project I have selected is quite different but seems good for me.My project is essentially cheaper and easier to start than a pizza carryout, auto body shop, auto repair shop, etc.All the work unique to my project has been fast, fun, and easy for me. But there have been some difficulties, and these have been from some aspects of some Microsoft software and especially the documentation, but for now I’m past those.I picked a problem that essentially all Internet users have, for which there is no good solution, and where nearly all of those users will like using my solution and use it frequently.I believe that early on with some routine publicity, I can attract enough users to keep a first server computer, from parts costing less than $1000, on average half busy 24 x 7. In that case, the monthly revenue should be $200,000+ with business expenses, except for my compensation, under $1000 month. So, As a business opportunity, my project totally blows the doors off a pizza carryout.At that point I will have a good lifestyle business.But it’s also easy enough to see that the business might grow to be worth $500 billion, that is, 1/2 $1 T, and that’s way beyond a pizza carryout, maybe beyond all of them. The potential of 1/2 $1 T doesn’t make the start more difficult or expensive.So, that’s what I’m pursuing. At this point, I don’t see a role for equity funding. For a project like mine, the equity funding people wouldn’t want to get on board before my plane has already reached 10,000 feet and is climbing quickly. Some equity funding — at least the money but not the BoD, corporation, etc. overhead — could have made the work go faster. But the earliest the equity funders would want on board is way past the latest I will let them on board.Again, I do sometimes learn some things at AVC.

  13. sigmaalgebra

    Eventually, before sending e-mail to a VC, I called the VC firm, chatted with the appropriate Administrative Assistant (AA), gave a, say, four sentence description of my project, said that I’d like to send a description of my work to her (always was a female) boss, asked for his (it was nearly always a male) e-mail address, and asked what he would like to see. I nearly always got the e-mail address of the boss and did send.On what to send, the nearly universal response was “a foil deck”. Well, I had such: I’d tweaked my collection of TeX macros to make decent looking foils and washed that through appropriate software, got a PDF file, sent an e-mail message, thanking the AA, and mentioning the PDF foil deck attachment.So, net, what I found was nearly universally the case, the standard, the norm, was to send a foil deck.On various Internet fora, there has been advice about how to contact VCs, and there can get remarks that suggest that VCs have total contempt for entrepreneurs and typically discard any contacts from entrepreneurs without a warm introduction and discard anything else with contempt as “over the transom”.So, I got some introductions from some famous people, but soon it was clear that the responses were no better. It looked like the purpose of the introductions was just to reduce e-mail traffic.Eventually I looked for some explanations of what was going on, formulated some hypotheses, and evaluated them on additional contact efforts. What I came up with were three conclusions:(1) Innovation and New TechnologyInformation technology VCs and their Web sites nearly all claim to be highly interested in innovation and new technology, but this is essentially nonsense. For one, the VCs don’t want to take the time to evaluate if a project is innovative or has new technology, and specifically VCs very much do not want to evaluate technology, especially new technology. For anything like new, advanced technology, e.g., as is common in high end US DoD systems, VCs want not even as much as zip, zilch, or zero to do with evaluating it, funding it, or, really, with a startup based on it.In the dressing room at a FedEx HQ basketball game, Fred Smith told me that one of the surprises was how little interest investors had in innovation and that, instead, they just wanted a simple, sure thing (IIRC). FedEx showed that (i) it’s possible to build a successful company with such investors but (ii) there will likely be some mud wrestling.(2) What VCs Are Looking forFrom all I could tell, what VCs are looking for is a fast, easy way to make money. So, here is their dream deal: Five co-founders have written some software and have traction that is high and growing just explosively, say, doubling each two weeks — the “up and to the right” situation. The VC plays with the software and guesses that 1+ billion people will find it “addictive”. The company is about to go broke and shut down. All five founders have maxed out credit cards and pregnant wives and are desperate for a round of funding on any terms.In particular, innovation and new technology are from irrelevant to unwanted.For more, startups successfully growing organically are not wanted — really, might be secretly admired but otherwise are resented.Suppose any company with over 500 software engineers could reproduce the software, with a better version, in less than six months; is this a concern? Nope.(3) ContactReally, the contact VCs prefer is to notice the startup, say, from its buzz, traction, etc., and contact the founders. So, really, it’s a case of “Don’t call us. We will call you.”.This practice of denigrating most contacts as “over the transom” might be out of struggles to handle e-mail, arrogance, a power stance, or just an opening negotiating tactic, but it’s likely not a good way to have a successful business relationship. Investing in a startup that will put up with such stuff is likely putting money in the wrong place. Maybe someone said, some of the most important deals are ones you don’t make.In the face of (1)-(3), it’s difficult not to notice another common piece of advice: Try hard to be 100% owned by the founder(s), grow organically, say, from revenue and after tax earnings, and take equity funding only as a last resort.

    1. LE

      What I came up with were three conclusions:So the first thing I point out is that you gave this some thought. As opposed to people who read things and just take what others say as gospel. Like the people who whine that only connected people get ahead that nobody, no VC in particular, will view a over the transom email with any respect. Doesn’t even matter if that is true or not. Just try harder and be unique and keep plugging at it. You only need one guy, not 1 per week.and pregnant wives and are desperateMaybe 1 or two pregnant wives. Maybe even 1 or two are married. But five founders married with pregnant wives that means a serious impact on the hours they will work and the lack of sleep that they will have! (Sosumi).is to notice the startup, say, from its buzz, traction, etc., and contact the foundersIf you are creative you just game that. But if you aren’t creative enough to game it maybe you just suck and don’t deserve to succeed. Suggest being lucky enough to have a co-founder that is as slippery as either HRC or DJT.and take equity funding only as a last resort.Or just pick another game. It’s not the only game out there, just the one that is discussed here and in many startup communities. Lot’s of ways to get to the promised land of happiness and earning a good income.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Naw, the quite broadly, for both sides of the table, the current VC game is not good. The batting average and ROI are too low. What is crucial for success is quite exceptional, and the people and approaches rarely are. For a startup, taking an equity check and getting a BoD is one heck of a chunk of new overhead, time and money sink, and risk to the business.The core truth is simple and well known to nearly everyone in the US who bought yacht over 50′ long — build a successful business. For that, the Internet, computer hardware, the mobile infrastructure, and readily available infrastructure software are foundations for some fantastic opportunities. So, build on those, find a valuable use for them, and build a successful business.Some of the main lessons, especially for equity funding, are literally from kindergarten: First, look at the story “The Little Red Hen” in Mother Goose. When she had hot, fragrant loaves of bread, freshly out of the oven with people lining up eager to buy, then people took her seriously. Before that all she got were silence or laughs. Second, look at the goose that laid the golden egg: The people in power choked the goose to death trying to get more golden eggs faster.For my project, I picked a problem shared by essentially every user of the Internet, a problem mostly solved from poorly down to not at all, a problem where the first good solution will usually be nearly a “must have” and/or actually significantly “addictive”. So, if it all works out, we’re talking ballpark $500 billion, half way to $1T. Ah, arithmetic! So, that’s the “business idea”. Next, I stirred up some new applied math for the first good solution, one that promises to be difficult to duplicate or equal. So, that’s the core technology, technological advantage, barrier to entry, intellectual property. Next, I developed the software and server farm architecture and the SQL Server schema. The architecture has five server types — Web, Session State, SQL, and two more particular to the core technology. The architecture can do well on scaling and reliability essentially just via starting more running instances of the five server types. Then I wrote the software for each of the five server types plus some needed off-line software — 80,000 lines of typing. The software runs, apparently well. Some timings indicate that it is nicely efficient of computer and Internet resources. Then I got some initial data, maybe 20% of enough to go live. The software is now in alpha test. Then beta test, then some routine business tasks, some more initial data, go live, get publicity, users, ads, and revenue.Some back of the envelope arithmetic shows that a first server from just $1000 in parts, if kept on average half busy 24 x 7, should be able to generate monthly revenue of $200,000+.Equity funding? The effort to raise equity funding was a horrible waste. I learned a lot of lessons I didn’t much care about learning and paid “high tuition”. Bummer. Until I have a quite successful business, for me, the overhead of a corporation and a BoD would be horrendous and risky. Some equity funding would have let the work go faster. But now, it’s too late for equity funding. Or as Fred wrote here, IIRC, yesterday, “Start small; grow tall; keep it all.”The main lesson I learned was, with the people involved, say, in Silicon Valley, about the only way to have both sides of the table happy long enough for the ink to dry is the dream deal I outlined which, however, is very rare.Coast to coast, border to border, from cross roads to the largest cities, the US is awash in entrepreneurs who do well, and only a tiny fraction ever got or even tried to get VC funding. E.g., each significant body of water is populated by the resulting yachts over 50′. Lots of people are successful.My goal is to be successful. From all I can see, my startup is by a wide margin the best approach for me. At this point, mostly I just need to go ahead and bring up a Web site with some ads — the crucial, core challenging (for others) applied math and corresponding software have long since been nicely done and, for me, were all fast, fun, and easy to do.E.g., for “fast, fun, and easy”, in grad school, there was an advanced course in linear algebra by a world expert. I’d never really had a course in linear algebra, looked at the topics of the course, and concluded that, from what I already knew from what I’d done on my own, I didn’t need the course. But, the faculty just smiled and said that, then, the course would be easy for me and I should take it. I wanted a review so one evening sat alone in the room intended to be a social center for the grad students and wrote out from memory the definitions, theorems, and proofs for nearly all the course.The course? Trivial. There was a problem: Writing out the huge pile of assigned homework was a pain, basically cost me much of my sleep one night a week — bummer. Early on the course grader made a mistake grading my homework; I corrected him; and he made no more mistakes.About 3/4ths the way through the course the prof stated the polar decomposition that every square matrix is the product of a unitary matrix and a Hermitian matrix. Before he got to his proof, finally seeing something to break the long monotony of trivia I blurted out “That’s my favorite theorem!”.Right away the prof responded “Thank you Dr. Halmos” (right, not my real name).Paul Halmos wrote the classic Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces when he was an assistant to von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study. The book was one of my favorites and one of the main places I learned linear algebra so well. The Halmos book is basically a second level book in the subject. Really the book is a finite dimensional introduction to von Neumann’s Hilbert space theory.I’d corresponded with Halmos about a detail in his book, and the course prof knew that. The prof was so shaken by my remark, maybe even intimidated, that he omitted the proof.All things considered, the result is astounding, makes something that looks really complicated very simple, and, thus, was my favorite. Actually, in the non-singular case, the proof is very short and simple. For the singular case, the difficulty is only that there are infinitely many pairs of matrices that work and just have to pick one.Well, yes, in my startup, at one point, but for a relatively simple reason, I make use of that result — the polar decomposition.The Halmos book is sometimes used in physics departments to give their students an introduction to the Hilbert space theory they should have in quantum mechanics. At one time, the book was one of three texts used in Harvard’s somewhat famous Math 55.Halmos was one of the best writers of math of the 20th century, and his work in mathematical statistics is some of the best in all of statistics. Halmos was a student of J. Doob at U. IL, one of the pillars of stochastic processes in the world and, at the end of his career, of Markov processes and potential theory, e.g., in particular, high end math for exotic options.I should not have been in the course; I disrupted it: There was a lot of grading — homework, tests, final exam — and I totally blew away, by large margins on all three, all the other students. Why? Because I already knew nearly all the material quite well and, actually, the course was not a very good place to learn that material and the other students didn’t learn it very well.Really the prof intended the course to be a filter. Well, the course didn’t filter me out, and I made all the other students look bad. And I got some resentment from the prof: My independent study had worked much better than his teaching, and he was filtering out students mostly because his course was not so good for learning and not because the students were poor. That is, I looked good because of my independent study, and the other students looked bad because of the prof’s poor learning environment. So, I was disruptive.Instead of the course, I should have been rushing to study stochastic processes in continuous time, deterministic optimal control, and, what I did my research in, stochastic optimal control.Here at AVC, I get to see the views of others and to see reactions of others to my views. Some of what I learn seems good.

  14. creative group

    Fred:A few replies on this blog post generated Gold certification responses. (Attaining Platinum certification is not as easy) https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  15. Quantella Owens

    You know, I emailed a VC once because he expressed interest in a certain type of type of tech and I’d had happened to just read about a new company in that particular area. He then preceded to ask me if I-a nobody from nowhere who was just trying to help-for an intro to the company. I was seriously upset because this is a guy with connections sitting in the Valley making a small fortune, who was too lazy to email his presumed army of interns to do some basic research. Heck, I even sent him the link to company which was from the UK and backed very early on by Thiel. I guess my point is that I’m not sure why people still look to most VC’s. I read the blogs because I really want to know what is being invested in and looked at, but no offense, I’d rather invest any spare quarters I find in my couch cushions on Main Street, rather than Techville.

  16. Asim Aslam

    The first time I ever cold emailed a VC it was a page long pitch. I thought I was so smart. Ah the naivety. A lot of us perceive the interaction only from our side. The reality is that VCs will receive hundreds if not thousands of these emails.Email with a VC feels like an interesting forum to throw around random thoughts. Otherwise the old rule of referrals from a trusted third party and meeting face to face still applies.

  17. Sebastian Wain

    I think the best is when a VC emails you first 😉

  18. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Never a truer word.+1000 for bootstrapping [takes a bit of patience and you need a team you can trust (including family)]