Things I'd Do If I Ran A Big VC Firm

Editor’s note: This post is based on a rant Chris Dixon posted to his posterous account.

Dixon details the changes he’d like to see in the world of venture capital. We’re republishing it here, with permission.

Dixon is CEO of Hunch, as well as a successful early stage start-up investor. (A famous, fancy VC told us last week that Chris is the “Ron Conway of New York.”)

Lower management fees so that they cover necessary expenses and reasonable salaries (e.g. $200,000, not $3 million). Basically, be like a startup and only make real money when your investors make money.

Keep a database of every employee of every company I invested in. So, for example, when a company goes under, you can help their employees and your investments by finding jobs for the best employees.

Negotiate group discounts with the best vendors (lawyers, accountants, cleaning services, SEO services, real estate brokers) and give every company a list of those vendors.

Have everyone at the firm blog/tweet and let them do so authentically, even if it means sometimes criticising the firm.

Have regular discussion groups where companies discuss very tactical issues and share solutions.

Have offices that look and cost like startup offices. Or better yet, don't have offices at all - spend your time visiting companies.

Kill the partner presentation. Too much emphasis placed on presentation skills. Instead go spend a day working with the CEO before you invest to get to know them in their real habitat.

Change the accounting so you can start caring about IRR more than just amount of money returned.

Spend lots of time networking with press & potential bizdev partners so you can make valuable intros when needed.

Have far fewer meetings in general.

Don't talk/tweet/blog about your vineyard, yachting, golfing etc while you tell your CEOs to work non-stop and be frugal etc.

Use your brand (and/or join together with other VCs) to recruit top talent (particularly engineers) from top schools. Tell top students they are guaranteed a job in your portfolio even if the one they join goes under.

Have standardized, simple legal documents to keep seed and Series A financing costs under $10K.

Never miss a meeting or show up late without apologizing.

No smart phones in meetings. Better to just not take the meeting or make it 15-30 minutes but actually listen.

I'd hire some female investors (and maybe some male receptionists).

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