Good read on ageism in SV VCs

Oddly enough at the New Republic. Article is here. I was somewhat amused by the read, but some of it rung quite true.

Its nice to hear of more of the signals one needs to read VC tea leaves. They never say no, but they do move goal posts, always outward, always away from you. The article implies they get hung up on TAM, as a proxy for what they really think.

I’d honestly prefer a fast “no” to any of this other stuff, but hey, its a game to a degree, and you have to play it.

The “you need to be in CA” bit in there … I’ve heard it often.

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One thought on “Good read on ageism in SV VCs

  1. Most of the VCs I’ve talked to have been in the Boston area (obviously) so the “need to be in CA” bit isn’t as prevalent. Neither is the requirement to be young, but you do have to exhibit a kind of manic recklessness that’s very rare except in the young[1]. You also have to buy into the SV-centric view of what’s important and how to grow a company – e.g. “minimum viable product” and “pivots” and “growth hacking” instead of real and steady growth in one direction. They want somebody like themselves, or at least like they imagine they’d be if they were in tech instead of finance.

    I also find it ironic that one of the people in the article said that age-discrimination suits are often about something else. Talk about lack of self-awareness. The *age discrimination itself* is often disguised as something else. That subterfuge is not the plaintiff’s fault; it’s the defendant’s.

    [1] There has to be a relationship here between the way that even older entrepreneurs are (or at least seem) stuck in adolescence and the “bro-ish” vibe you get at many startups, but that’s a whole other subject that has been beaten to death already.

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