A Growing Cancer: Forbes’ Midas List
Chamath Palihapitiya

A LOT to like here and a couple things worthy of debate. This is my 2c based on being a founder and CEO of 2 venture backed startups both of which were acquired.

1) Ranking firm versus partner

Ranking partners by returns terrible. Ranking firms not better. That’s like saying you should buy “Vanguard” or “Fidelity” because some of their funds performing.

2) Your board member is your experience

For the entrepreneur you usually spend most of your time with the partner that’s on your board. If that partner is motivating, smart, etc. you’re better off! If that partner is wrong, lazy, unwilling to dig in and help oh boy. There is so much signaling that happens by which partner at which firm invests, picking an investor should be ranked in the top three with your idea, your co-founders and your lead investor.

3) More Data Please

When we hire someone at Amazon the process is carefully constructed to generate a lot of data. I think Silicon Valley is an important institution to world progress and investors are a critical piece of that equation. I know more about most athletes then I do about a venture investor. Some are strategic, some are great question askers, some are fantastic at hiring, others like to raise follow on rounds. You can go on LinkedIn or Glassdoor and learn about coworkers or CEOs but venture capitals are still pretty shrouded in mystery. This is mostly because so few people work with them closely, anonymous reviews are basically impossible and there are huge disincentives to founders speaking up.

I totally believe Chamath is committed to making things better. Those friends I have that know him speak extremely highly of him.

My advise. Worry less about Forbes. Worry more about whether you and your peers are finding new ways to bring transparency to your part of the work marriage.

My views are my own and are not necessarily shared by my employer.

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