VC Week 1

“It’s a very exciting time” - Tank

Last week, I announced I left Lyft to pursue investing. It’s been a wonderful week with meeting founders, investors, and friends. It’s energizing! 

It’s also clear I have an incredible amount to learn. In the spirit of writing to help clarify thinking, I will publish on this blog routinely. This post is obviously meta, but most posts will be about valuable lessons learned. Subscribe to get new posts: instantly or in a weekly digest.


I generally bias towards action. 

I need to understand partnerships, to find a good fit. This makes my action bias bad: I have months and should act that way. This falls into a general category of meta-cognition: delay deciding to avoid bias as you learn

Also, I’m hearing wildly varied stories from different people, which means I should hear from many more.


Garry Tan over at Initialized just put out a video, first in a series, featuring one of their founders. While podcasts are still growing but very popular, video is underrated for startups. In addition to writing, I hope to get into this game. There are simply too many interesting people to not sit down and capture how they look at the world. This includes investors, their LPs, founders, and operators.

It’s also clear that what I’d been told about VC being an apprenticeship business has corollaries. Namely, there is an oral tradition to transmit information. While backchannel candor can’t be replaced, many conversations I’ve already had should be broadcast. On the other hand, recording changes content, so I’ll need to tread lightly. 


Investing has ridiculously long feedback loops, like 5-10 years. That can be for a single fund, and you might have just gotten lucky. This makes the true feedback even longer.

I love metrics, which means I should try find proxy metrics to help track. I expect this to change, but in the short term, it will encourage me to do the right things. Here are three, with my low numbers from last week.

  • Meetings: 12. How many phone calls and in person meetings. The steady state should be 30-50, eventually dominated by pitch meetings.

  • Posts: 1. This is number 2. I’ll include both writing and videos.

  • CRM: 32. There is surprisingly little consensus for which tools to use. For now, I’m counting rows in my new junky spreadsheet. Just importing my social graphs would bump this by thousands, but that isn’t meaningful. I need to stay connected to 10,000 of my closest friends :-D

How to Learn

I’ve been asking folks how to learn about investing. Some recommend sitting in pitch meetings with potential partners to understand how they think, in one case for a full year. This seems especially high signal to learn about people, not just the business.

I also expect that active angel investing will help better understand my co-investors. There are probably limits because of timing. I won’t see bad behavior in just a few months, like a bad actor causing problems at a startup when things go south. 

I’ve been asking for book recommendations too. Here are a few now in my reading list:

Other books not directly about VC are recommended to understand partnerships:

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