Mr. Cranky Thinks You Have an Ugly Baby

May 9, 2011

12:32 pm

After I wrote “The West Coast Deal” I started getting thank you notes and congratulations from entrepreneurs.  Many of them founders of companies who have been futilely seeking funding in DC.  And that’s when I realized I had done the startup world a major disservice.  That’s when Mr. Cranky kicked in and I thought it was time to clear the air.

The are many other more probable reason’s that your enterprise isn’t getting funded than the fact that it is geographically challenged. Let’s just look at three possibilities:

  1. You’re a West Coast Deal
  2. Bad Luck
  3. Your Company Sucks

I probably see over 100 new deals a year and my gut tells me that only 10% of those warrant rolling the dice by placing hard earned cash (or easily found cash for that matter)  on the chances that the company will succeed.  The problem with many entrepreneurs, myself included,  is that we are often too close to our companies to dispassionately judge them.  It is so simple to objectively judge other people’s stuff.  Yet it is typical human nature to lose our objectivity when that stuff is ours.  To a founder, their company is like their baby.  Have you ever noticed that there are no parents with ugly babies? Yet there are a lots of ugly people walking this earth. What’s wrong with that math?

Often times the Venture Capitalist you are pitching doesn’t “get it.” The fact that he’s an East Coast VC is rarely the reason. More often than not VCs don’t “get it,” because it isn’t get-able.”

Whining that VCs “don’t get it,” is more often an indictment of the company than of the VC’s ability to “get it.”  Venture Capitalist is as Darwinian a career as there is.  If you’re not getting traction, maybe you should ask yourself the following: 1) is it because you aren’t the right person to make your company get-able or 2) is my baby ugly? And then ask your mother, ask your spouse, ask your neighbor the same questions.  Because I’m sure that Osama Bin Laden’s mom thinks he was basically a good boy who was just misunderstood. No matter the reason, if the VC doesn’t “get it” you won’t be getting any and whining isn’t going to get you any closer to success.

…..and that’s what Mr. Cranky thinks he gets about that.

Editor’s Note: You can read additional posts about getting funded that Glen has written on his blog here.

Image by Flickr member by AntToeKnee

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Glen Hellman (@glehel), is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it.

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