We get feedback from the leaders of our portfolio companies on an annual basis. It helps me get better at what I do and I love it.
One area that I am constantly challenged to improve on is accessibility.
The common refrain is “I know you are busy and I hate to bother you.”
To which I reply “It is your job to bother me and my job to be responsive when you do.”
But even so, getting portfolio company leaders to feel that they can reach out, even on small things, is a challenge.
An approach that I have taken and many other VCs also take is to schedule weekly or bi-weekly catch ups with the portfolio leaders.
That works but sometimes what is needed can’t wait for that or is a “in the moment thing” like “today sucked.”
And sometimes helping someone deal with “today sucked” gets you to a level of comfort with a leader that allows you to help on many other things too.
My point is simple. Being there for portfolio leaders is job number one for venture capitalists. If we can’t do that, what can we do?
So working on that is a big part of my personal development and I work on it every day.