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August 07, 2008


Heck, I read two years of your writing because of that post.

Anyone with the confidence and smarts to grow a business can take a goofy, probing or even moronic statement in stride. They'll face worse.

And anyone who thinks those statements are too mean or unfair probably need to loosen their panties a bit.

It's usually the smartest guy in the room who says, "Huh? What's that mean?"

Great site. Now in my favorites.



I'm with Ken 100%. In fact, I'm jealous he wrote such a good post!

Anyhow, most readers of your blog appreciate your wit and saw the post for what it was - a clever way to test an investee's BS quotient.

I deplore cynicism and negativity, but failing to do the right due diligence on relationships is your own damn fault, and that goes both ways for investees and potential mother-in-law VC.


I think it's unfortunate that you had to 'explain' the previous post but you've done a great job.

I'm with the posters above on this. I just got a good chuckle out of your earlier post, while nodding my head in agreement.

Ditto. Funny & spot-on. I have to agree with Ken - time to read the back issues...

As one of the ones roasting Rick, I have to step up and eat my words. It was a big overreaction on my part, I should have just chuckled and moved on rather than turning it into such a big deal. I've updated my original post, and put up an apology:

I think the point is a great one, delivery maybe not as good as it could be, but I am with you if you say you heard Anderson Consulting is backing OS/2 that should really raise a flag, It would be impossible for me not to screw up my face and go huh?

I agree tons of Entrepreneurs want to show they've got it all figured out and not being able to say I don't know shows you don't even know what you don't know which is scary.

I'm going to make two points on this:

First, as an Entrepreneur its important that sometimes you act without having all the information. That's actually the only advantage we have over big corporations, its not staff, capital, etc, its the ability to just get out there and do it with nothing to lose and learn from three iterations before BigCo even makes their first watered down decision so as not to take risk.

Second, looking from the outside if I had to say who is more guilty of this behavior I would say VC's so lets make sure the shoe/advice fits for both of us. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to VC's that extrapolate the one experience that they've had with a company to all companies versus understanding each is different.

I'm an entrepreneur and I'm pretty good about saying "I don't know." But if you asked your question about OS/2 I definitely wouldn't say I don't know because I do know. In my head I'd know you're either confused or mistaken and saying either would make no sense -- Why confront someone you just met about a point that has no significance to your business? I think some of those answers people gave are quite clever -- saving face without agreeing is tricky.

If you want to do a meaningful test, why not ask people something they're sure not to know -- "I heard great things about web applications developed with the Maroon 18 language. What do you guys think?" Better yet, the VCs that have impressed me the most have asked me important questions that I really didn't know the answer to.


Thanks Rick...
How many times have I read (and all other entrepreneurs should have read) "the vc is looking to invest in people".

I should hope you are looking to sort out the BSers. I would that you would support those who would not BS you compared with those who are open and wanting to build a partnership with you.

Rick, depending on the situation, setting up people to fail by asking nonsensical questions is not always a good measuring stick. You need to remember how intimidating it is for most people to talk to someone like you in the first place. 5 Mins after the conversation they might think to themselves "did I just say that?"

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