Do no harm

In the venture capital world, there is a lot of movement happening. VCs are leaving firms at a rate that feels unprecedented — sometimes to start a new one and often leaving for greener pastures at an existing firm. 

Either is fine with me although I have a soft spot for the former. 

But here’s the thing, most VCs that leave a firm have been thinking about it for a long time. They don’t just wake up one morning and walk out the door without a lot of consideration. 

So with this context, I have some advice. If you are seriously thinking about leaving your firm avoid making new investments and taking on new board seats. And if at all possible, be open with your existing partners your current state of mind. 

It’s very painful & disruptive for the startup to have a new investor leave their post. I’ve seen firms abandon these startups when the person who led the investment leaves the firm, even if it was mere months after the investment.  And an entrepreneur often chooses a firm based on his/her relationship with a particular investor as an individual. The entrepreneur is making a long term bet that you are going to be there in good time and in bad over a long period of time for their company. 

I’ve written a few posts about what makes a great venture capitalist. 

The bare minimum is that a VC should do no harm. At least not intentionally.