It was a silent 4:00PM in Mountain View, CA, the artificial city of the Silicon Peninsula. I ended my funding pitch with a quote from Jonathan Swift. I had no idea it would be so poorly received:
“When a true genius enters the world, you may know him by this sign: the Dunces are all aligned in confederacy against him.”
So I quoted with a smile at the VC meeting where my baby, ThruDispatch, was pitched.
One of the Senior Partners hurled a stentorian barb in my direction.”You are calling yourself a genius and we are the Dunces? ”
“Not at all. I am merely saying that many valley equity investors seem to be throwing capital at just so many duplicate social media and video sharing plans”, I said, almost ready to mace these suits if it wasn’t for the consequences. Don’t they see the mess in cloned business models ruining this wonderful valley?
One of the Juniors looked at me with withering scorn and vomited his invective in my general direction, “Everyone in this room makes seven figures, we are placing the next sub-round in Facebook Apps…good day Mr. Wilensky and, good luck with your….plan”.
As I left, I passed a famous ‘Silicon Valley undertaker’, a reaper of VC capital, walking confidently into the conference room. He had a track record of raising capital and burning down (so to speak) any number of here and gone startups, few of which ever became profitable. Indeed, he seemed more notorious for NOT making equity pay. What was his secret?
“How do you do it?”. I hissed, “how, how?” He barely glanced backwards at me as his Patek Philipe Minute Repeating watch chimed a quarter past the hour.
“I hire friends, I am hired by friends, I make sure that the first order of business when receiving a placement of equity is to find a way to compensate the VC partners”, he said, his suit was impeccable.
Hmm, leather sandals with a suit in such Bay Area cold.
Clammy and faint, I staggered towards the elevator – Ping….Bing…bong..softer as the conference room door clicked closed….fainter voices from behind…”hey guys…good to see you again….(Ping!)
It was 4:30PM in Mountainview.