Monday, May 23, 2005

VC Dreams

There's a new meme in the VC blogosphere - "Good luck getting into VC".

Not only are a lot of VC bloggers talking about this (most of them flowing from this original post by Seth Levine), but even the NY Times has gotten in on the fun, saying that even if you're lucky enough to get into VC, chances are, you won't succeed.

Now, as aspiring VC, I've heard this many times before - virtually every person I've talked to in the industry has said that it's incredibly difficult to get in, and many have also said that it takes more than a little luck as well. But despite all of the dismal forecasts I've heard before, every person I talked to in person encouraged me to keep trying if it was something I really felt passionate about. These new rounds of posts however, seem to take the attitude that if you're not already part of the club, you really have no business being there anyway. It's actually rather surprising, because most of the VC bloggers (that I read anyway) don't seem to be so cliquish normally.

One good thing though, is this new round of posts got me thinking about why I wanted to be a VC in the first place. A benefit of the difficulty in getting a position in VC is that it weeds out a lot of the competition. A few years ago, we all heard stories about rock star VC's that cashed in big, and so there was a lot of shallow interest in getting into VC. Once a lot of these people heard how difficult the path was, most of them headed over to I-Banking, consulting, hedge funds, or whatever looked like the most sure way to a pile of money.

The people that I know who continue to pursue a VC career are the ones who have a true passion for it. Now don't get me wrong - I'd like to make a little pile of money myself, but I also realize there are more surefire ways to do it.

Recently, I sat down and tried to articulate what exactly it was that drove me to seek a career in VC. I thought a passion for new enterprises and new technologies was what it took to make a good VC. I had a hard time figuring out why someone with those same passions wouldn't go and be an entrepreneur instead. But even though I had thought about trying my hand at a company again, that didn't get me as excited as the thought of entering VC.

Although I enjoy technology, and I thrive on the excitement and challenges surrounding start-ups, my true passion lies in the development of relationships. If those relationships revolve around technology and intellectual challenges - so much the better. I think that's why the VC industry seems to appeal to me - it seems to be more about the people, teams, and relationships than just about the newest technology.

I'm planning to continue my stubborn assault on the VC industry - I figure that if it's worth getting into, it's bound to be hard, and even if I'm not ultimately successful, the networking skills and job search capabilities I'm cultivating now will make finding a job in any other industry a snap.