What's a Googler doing at Benchmark? Solving the VC talent crisis

Venture capital has a talent problem. (Some wags might say the problem is a complete lack of talent, but not this one.) The difficulty: Potential hires are either too junior, and hence useless as anything but a startup-hunting associate, or too senior to be brought in as anything but a full partner, a process which is difficult and expensive. Benchmark Capital has found a clever solution. It's hired Jonathan Teo, a former Google engineering manager who played a key role in the company's international expansion, as an "investor," according to his LinkedIn profile. (A source close to the firm tells me his exact title may not be settled yet.) Teo's non-partner hire at Benchmark is an indicator of a venture-capital industry in flux — but one that seems willing to experiment. A healthy sign. (Photo via Jonathan Teo's Friendster)