VCs trashing VCs
Among the odd juxtapositions in the venture world, I would add Ben Horowitz, half of VC firm du jour AndressenHorwitz quoting rap artist Dr. Dre, in this post trashing many of his fellow VCs for their bad behavior towards entrepreneurs.
Now VCs trashing other VCs is a time-honored practice, with many VC’s attempting to establish some entrepreneurial street cred — as venture professionals trying, albeit desperately, to hold onto their startup roots (or pretend they had them). Many VCs regularly chide their colleagues for (among other things) arrogance, limited slots, and claiming ownership — and this is from the VCs who I think are really good. Many VCs take pain to emphasize their non-venture roots in their blogs (Both Sides of the Table, and Seeing Both Sides) while distancing themselves from many of their peers. And an entire web site got into the business purely to democratize venture criticism.
But this smackdown seemed a little gratuitous, particularly when you have been a VC for, oh, less than a year with no track record (sort of like the young MC). But unlike hip-hop, trashing your colleagues is rarely a good way to build deal flow and establish syndicates. Mark Solon at Highway 12 even responded with a posting in defense (and note a few VCs popping up in the comments). But who knows, maybe we’ll see Horowitz as a board member of one of Dre’s business ventures – the trash-talk might tone down under a little influence of the chronic.