Lack of empathy is usually the biggest gripe you will hear from VC backed founders today about their investors. It’s a real disconnect that impedes relationships.
VCs can be (and most of the time are in fact) kind, generous, and compassionate people. But these qualities are different than empathy.
Lack of empathy is not just an affliction affecting the ‘professional money manager’ types of VCs who were never operators themselves. Even for VCs who first started out as founders themselves empathy can be elusive. When you’ve had a successful exit or you’ve subsequently made millions as an investor it’s just hard to remember what it’s like to be an entrepreneur with no money in the bank and all her eggs in one basket. Your lifestyle is very different. You just live in a very different world. Your empathy wanes.
As a founder, the types of investors you want are the ones like Micah who not only realize that empathy matters but also take efforts to build their empathy muscle.
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H/T Brendan who first posted on this issue in a pretty marvelous tweetstorm