What to look for when choosing a VC: smart isn’t enough

From Mark Suster’s blog:

Most VCs are book smart. It’s insanely competitive to get into our industry so most have degrees from institutions like Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and University of Chicago (blatant plug ;-). Smart is simply not a differentiator. In fact, book smart can be a negative. The last thing you want is a know-it-all telling you what to do when they are at 50,000 and haven’t had to deal with your exact circumstances.

I call them “VCs Seagulls.” (you know … fly in, shit on you and then fly away). VCs should be more of a coach than proscriptively telling you what to do. I’ve seen too many companies go off track by a VC hell bent on the team pursuing the VCs strategy which at times is about chasing the next shiny object.

You want a VC who will spar with you but then STFU and let you get on with things. Smart? Sure. But don’t over index on brains. In the end it will be up to you to figure out what to do.

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