Thursday, May 08, 2008

Independent Street : Why Venture Capitalists Don't Want You to Have a Sex Life

"No social life. At least in the startup phase.
That’s the message from two of the fiercest competitors in venture capital: John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital. In a story today on VentureWire, Scott Austin reports on a rare Q&A session with the two men yesterday.

"As Mr. Austin reports, Mr. Doerr chatted about several now-legendary entrepreneurs whose companies he invested in— Inc., Netscape, Yahoo Inc., Google Inc.—and he told a story describing what they all shared. He recalled being in Amazon’s shipping area when an order went out that included a book about programming in Java and also a copy of “The Joy of Sex.” He said he knew the customers were male, nerds who had no social or sex lives and were trying to get help by using an online service.
“That correlates more with any other success factor that I’ve seen in the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. If you look at Bezos, or [Netscape Communications Corp. founder Marc] Andreessen, [Yahoo Inc. co-founder] David Filo, the founders of Google, they all seem to be white, male, nerds who’ve dropped out of Harvard or Stanford and they absolutely have no social life. So when I see that pattern coming in — which was true of Google — it was very easy to decide to invest.”
Readers, is it true — must you have no life, at least early on, to run a successful start-up? Is this one reason why, as recently reported, there aren’t more successful women entrepreneurs?

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