FROM THE DESK OF MEGAN MCCARTHY — So, there's a Craigslist ad making the rounds, penned by a golddigging New Yorker looking for tips on how to wed a rich man. In Silicon Valley, of course, things are a bit different. Below is the same missive as if it were written by a local.
What am I doing wrong?
Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a connected (spectacularly connected) 29 year old founder. I'm articulate and tech-savvy. I'm not from San Francisco. I'm looking to get a Series A from a top-tier firm of at least $5 million with a $50 million valuation. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million dollars will barely get you a two-year lease on office space in South Park, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.
Are there any people who are valued at $50M or more on this board? Anyone? Could you send me some tips? I interviewed with a firm who offered around 20 - 25M. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 25M won't get me landing rights at Moffet Field. I know a guy from my Stanford GSB class who raised $8M from David Sze himself, and his Facebook app doesn't have as many users as mine, nor has he been written up in TechCrunch as many times as I have. So what is he doing right? How do I get to his level?
Here are my questions specifically:
- Where do you top-tier VCs hang out? Give me specifics- conferences, restaurants, kiteboarding beaches
-What are you looking for in an entrepreneur? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings
-Am I too old for this (I'm 29)?
- Why are some of the startup founders living lavish lifestyles in SOMA lofts so damn anti-social? I've seen really creepy-with-a-touch-of-Aspergers types who can't make eye contact reap the benefits of a quick Google exit. I've seen highly connected networking kings packing their cubicles and closing up shop. What's the story there?
- Firms I should look out for? Everyone knows - Sequoia, Benchmark, Founders Fund. How much do those guys really distribute? And where are they found? Where do the Michael Moritzes of the world hang out?
- How you decide keep vs. replace the founder? I am looking for KEEP ONLY
Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most Valley entrepreneurs are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of companies if I wasn't able to match them - in connections, importance, networking, and keeping in permanent contact via BlackBerry.
(Photo by Mayr)