I’m learning how to VC right now, and a friend who has been both an associate at a large VC firm and a founder gave me this advice. I figured I’d share the wealth.
1. superb meeting etiquette
– don’t be late.
– don’t walk around checking your phone or your email
– just generally be present
– don’t look or act rushed, at all (you will be most of the time)
– don’t let a meeting go over time whether you are interested or not; keep time and politely remind and set expectations
2. superb meeting followup
– always do what you say and say what you’ll do
– say no quickly and concisely (which you’ll do 99% of time), and say why briefly
– when super annoying entrepreneurs ask followup questions to your “no” email, have a blog post or canned email that isn’t customized but that you’ve worked very hard on to send them, breaking down why no means no and to not pursue it further.
3. the interesting in-betweens
– people / teams / areas you are really curious about but can’t pull the trigger on: tell them, make a small calendar database, follow up every 3 months, and make notes and watch the numbers they tell you. Force yourself to make explicit your hypothesis and whether they are managing to it.