Except that it is. Your goal is to lure startups to grovel before your altar and give you 10–15% equity for 10–50K, and to give this to you, rather than to YCombinator. So yes, your goal is to beat out YC. To attract startups to come to you rather than them. They are your competition, and you, Techstars, YC and many other incubators are in the business of getting in on the cheap by leading the seed investment. You are in precisely the same market, and you are at war. Let’s just be honest about that.
Arrogance to me is that in lieu of the well spoken “access to our networks,” you expect them to lap it up when they hear “you got my investment, now go out and make money.”
Truth be told, it’s the whole “winner-take-all” mentality of investors that I can’t find a way to respect. To hell with years of work, the careers of many, crushed so that the kid from your alma mater makes not $32.4M but $32.55M, and you triple your money in 18 months.
Brash decisions made based upon little more than who people clink glasses with — rather than any thought to building something other than what a struggling, small team is busting their asses to achieve that gleaming execution on.