I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup
Penny Kim

First thanks for writing this, writing it so well and so bravely and for making it so informative and not just some revenge kick. Noone likes to be conned and it takes guts to be objective and factual about it. Having funded many start ups in my time it has a sadly all too familiar ring. Start up merchants lie to investors too, often. So some thoughts:

  1. People who run starts ups have big egos. To them lying or being as they would see it, economical with the truth, is just part of the journey. Your story is a sad and difficult one, but if that start up survived and became a roaring success your story would become part of the legend. Dont get sold an idea when you first come across them.
  2. People who lie get away with it because they tell people the things those people want to hear. If you get told something seemingly factual ask for evidence and if you dont get it for any reason at all then walk, dont stay another second.They should have sent you a ticket and not paid for your airfare later, that is enough. Don't assume that people share your values and standards.
  3. A lie is a lie is a lie. Call it a little white lie, buying time, whatever you want but its still a lie. Confirm everything you are told.
  4. When you get interviewed always ask what problems the business has and anyone who says none is probably not telling the truth cause all businesses good and bad have problems.
  5. Most start ups fail. The successes are the exception to the rule so if you go there dont be surprised.

Anyway your experience has made you wiser so good luck!