Yesterday Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur Steve Blank wrote (and we ran) a post about his entrepreneurial days. In the post, he detailed how he and his cofounders hired an outside CEO and granted him a very large salary and compensation package; when he and his cofounders asked the board for matching salaries, a VC on the board spat back “you’re just the founders” and turned them down.
The company went on to do very well and Steve is now semi-retired, being a beloved professor of entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley where he mentors aspiring entrepreneurs. Blank writes that because of this VC’s behaviour he always steers his students away from this particular, prestigious VC firm, and figures that when he’s steered 100 startups away (he’s well on his way), he’ll be even.
But Steve never names the VC. That led us to wonder: who is the inconsiderate VC who screwed Steve Blank? (And, presumably with that sort of mindset, other founders?)
From the clues that Steve left in his post, it wasn’t hard to piece things together, and several commenters did so. The blog post is in the category “E.Piphany,” so we know that’s the company. The company received two rounds of funding, one in March 1997 and another in January 1998, before the new CEO was hired. The VC in Steve’s post is described as a junior partner for a very prestigious firm. The one who fits the description is… Kleiner Perkins’ Doug Mackenzie, who was on E.Piphany’s board and became a partner at KPCB only a few years prior.
No, we haven’t heard of him either, and given what this (possibly) says about his behaviour, we’re not surprised.
Do you have a better answer? We’d love to hear it!