Dave, like many who have followed your career and commented below, I deeply admire the work you’ve done at 500. I too have delighted in your irreverent spirit. Silicon Valley still needs that. On the other hand . . .
Before I launched my first startup I practiced law. I was often called into a workplace to clean up similar messes. I was really good at navigating the immediate and peripheral impacts of just about any category of such behavior imaginable. Still, that did not prepare me for the exquisite vulnerability of being a female entrepreneur with a big dream who finally is “favored” with an investment.
Now carry that further to the many opportunities to undercut (even if unintentional) such an entrepreneur for the sake of hiding or avoiding discovery. Or later judgments (e.g., not fundable or not up to being a CEO) that might flow her way because of signals that aren’t about the merits at all but rather how she was affected by something she feels she cannot discuss.
I’m not saying this is you. I’m inviting you to become a greater force for good by joining with others in SV to surface the challenges much more comprehensively than just a creepy act or two.
I do wish you and 500 the best. While I escaped SV and now live in NYC, I’d be happy to chat further at any time if you wish.