How to Become a Vc

Advice from Kanyi Maqubela about getting into VC, by way of Twitter...
  1. 1.
    Junior VC is only sometimes a pipeline to a career in VC. Some firms promote, most don't.
  2. 2.
    Junior VC is usually deal-sourcing and sometimes diligence, while GP (general partner) is picking, board directing, and fundraising.
  3. 3.
    LPs hate first time GPs, so you'll probably want to join a fund if you want to get investing experience.
  4. 4.
    Angel investors with multiple 100M+ exits get hired by funds as GPs.
  5. 5.
    Highly successful entrepreneurs (100M+ exit) get hired by funds as GPs.
  6. 6.
    Very well-connected senior executives at growth startups get hired by funds as GPs (sometimes).
  7. 7.
    Only thing harder than joining a firm is leaving one, so GPs are very selective about adding to their partnerships.
  8. 8.
    If you want to be an angel investor, invest the amount of money you'd be comfortable lighting on fire.
  9. 9.
    No set path to VC. The GOAT investors have been journalist, career VC, entrepreneur, athlete, banker, lawyer before.
  10. 10.
    Prepare for long feedback loops.
  11. 11.
    Most of your time will be spent helping companies that aren't working die gracefully or saying no to ideas you don't really like.
  12. 12.
    Least meritocratic industry ever. A firm's success is driven by its prior success. Intense network and bandwagon effects.
  13. 13.
    Some of it is about taste, some of it is about intellect, but a surprising amount is about who you know.
  14. 14.
    A GP, however, is only as good as their last great deal. Vast majority of GPs haven't seen a carry check.
  15. 15.
    You'll be taxed on gains before you earn them, so make sure you've got some money leftover. GP's invest (a lot!!) in their funds, too.
  16. 16.
    Takes a long time to build a great reputation. Takes a short time to spoil it. Protect it.
  17. 17.
    Takes about 6-7 years to know if you're any good at it (that is, if you have created the right conditions for luck)
  18. 18.
    Every relationship becomes transactional. Everyone you know either wants investment, or knows someone who does.
  19. 19.
    When you're first raising, *nobody* wants to invest. When you have momentum, *everybody* does.
  20. 20.
    Lots of internal inconsistencies. You have to be very high conviction about companies you know are going out of business.
  21. 21.
    Success tends to accrue to those investors with strong points of view. Just have to be more right than wrong.
  22. 22.
    Feel the power law in your bones to understand the odd entropic nature of VC.
  23. 23.
    If you have demonstrated an element of resource magnetism, that can make you a good candidate for VC.