I have to admit I wanted to be a venture capitalist in b-school

Guy Kawasaki writes a good post about VCAT (venture capital apptitude test).  In the early 90s I was in graduate school aka: b-school or MBA  (note: Babson College had the #1 program in entrepreneurship).  It’s very easy to be attracted to venture capital if you are an entrepreneur.  I wanted to be a VC.  In reality I was just attracted to doing startups.  Thanks god I didn’t become a VC.  Guy is right be a VC later in your career if you’re an entrepreneur. 

Here is the real deal in my opinion.  If your attracted to the vc business because you want to get into the “action” and make money then don’t be a vc be an entrepreneur.  If you want to be in the vc business because you like entrepreneurship but don’t want to take the risk then don’t be a vc.  Actually if your coming out of b-school do something entrepreneurial then be a vc associate or analyst.   If you want to be a VC be an entrepreneur first. 

How do you know who the best VCs are:

In all of my interactions with VCs the best VCs are the ones that have unique skills that can’t be taught in b-school – Instincts.  Just look at all the mega deals and their exits then trace the guys involved in the beginning.  It’s clear that the best have good instincts on people, markets, and technology.  When I meet a vc and hear “business model, differentiation, sustainable competitive advantage, bla bla,,” my eyes roll.   When I meet a vc and here “how are you going to take down that market, crush anyone in your way, land the big customers, hire: mr big engineer, mr big sales guy, mr big marketing gal,…” then I get excited and I know that I am talking to the right VC.

Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

3 thoughts on “I have to admit I wanted to be a venture capitalist in b-school”

  1. “When I meet a vc and hear “business model, differentiation, sustainable competitive advantage, bla bla,,” my eyes roll. ”

    That’s a shame to read since all except for the business model are requested on the CRV website in order to contact them.

    Michael B

  2. What I meant was more of a mindset issue. Of course business model, revenue model, sustainability, and market are key requisites for a venture. Those are check off items in my mind for any deal. The big question on hitting the big deals for VCs is more an intuitive perspective. Does the entrepreneur have the ‘eye of the tiger’ and tenacity to make it happen. That is a key attribute. After that the market has to be there… I’ve seen many entrepreneurs go hard a market that didn’t materialize with great plans on paper.

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