Subscribe NOW

Enter your email address:

Text Message our CEO:


or on twitter

Free Resources

Click Here to learn more

In The Media

CEO of Duck9, Larry, Teaches You How to Go From Undergrad to VC

by Larry Chiang on October 5, 2014

By Larry Chiang, Venture Capital
You know me?! 
I’m the honorary Delta Sigma Pi who helped a bunch of Alpha Kappa Psi (start a community college’s, campus startup accelerator)
A verrrry popular question has been: “Dr Larry Chiang, how do I become a VC?”
ANSWER: First of all, I taught ENGR 145 w/a bachelors degree so you do not salutate me like that. I’ve a JBA, not an MBA, so call me Master Mark McCormack’s padawan. And, yes, I do know the steps that lead to you becoming a VC on Sand Hill Road
First of all, I think it’s horrible that you take a legendary class like ENGR 145, just to parlay it into a VC gig. But I guess getting that University Ave business card laminated’ll get u laid at Coy. Now that you know me and my thoughts, know that you’re welcome in advance for these 4 career advice points:
/1/ Career advice point number Uno
A thousand people ask VCs for douchie VC jobs. There is maybe one opening per year. Jump past Mayfield fellows by solving VCs largest UNSAID issue. Deal flow.
Deal flow is a problem.
VCs would never complain if their deal flow doubled. VCs fake complain of the deals they get inbox’d. Plot spoiler: We only want to hunt down and invest in deals that don’t pitch us, in (tech) concepts we do not understand. Solving deal flow leads to point number 2
/2/ Using hashtags to augment deal flow
VCs think Chris Messina’s hashtag concept is a pop culture fad that they missed. Most VCs missed on Twitter like they missed on Uber. (Odeo was a dog w flees and that darn Mike Maples beat us. Odeo pre-cursed and was prequel to Twttrr. Maples slept on Evan Williams sofa to wedge in Floodgate $$)
Note: This info about Mike Maples was said in a public forum hosted by Adeo Ressi, attended by Dave McClure. It’s not a private conversation I’m now making public. It was always public.
Hashtags, VCs will soon realize, augment deal flow.

CEO of Duck9, Larry (@6502838008)
Start #LCMCC.
Maybe #LCSA
lots o’ #Guacamole
Revisit: #LTMVP
Get #mvee4VC
Then #R2D2VC


You see, VCs are always collecting data points. For example:
– They collect data on traffic to your site on Alexa to measure traction
– They collect data on email header
– Data on what you read via hackerNews and wordpress and twitter (and what you comment)
– Data on how you react when we show up 15-30 minutes late. 
– Data on how you get introduced to us
– Data on your cell number
We are bitchy little data collectors that went to college in the 80s and understand your tech 15 times worse than the worse student in your CS class. 1% of 1% of your CS TAs brain. Nothing that VCs learned in college applies now. Zero percent. NPV and WACC doesn’t work either cuz “Net Present Value” on a proforma is at best a WAG of EBITDA)
Conclusion: VCs are HECKA dumb. But we are expert pattern recognizers.
Enter, the humble “hashtag”. 
/3/ Hashtags augment deal flow because it works with how the fossil VC works
Ok, you do not know this yet but VCs take meetings, listen to pitches, then doesn’t say no for a reallllly long time. Read: VCs never say no. We just ignore you. 
Solution: with you and your effort to be a VC, you will augment both data collection AND deal-flow. GO BACK TO THE TOP AND RE-READ E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G before you read what is below
Print this out.
And reread it again.
/3b/ VCs during meetings used to say, “I’ll introduce you to someone”
#FoundInTranslation: I heard a couple keywords and met someone at TC disrupt. They said those same keywords I don’t understand. They might have domain expertise. So, I’ll intro you. So then I’ll back channel and ask them if they think you-the-founder-pitching are smart
Cuz we VCs are reallllly dumb.
To understand VCs think of Star Wars C3PO. We are tall, pretty protocol droids. We do nothing. We sometimes get in the way of R2D2. He is the mentor to Chewbacca, CTO of the Millennium Falcon. 
/3c/ Protocol.
Master protocols if you want to be a VC.
There are two types of protocols you need to master:
– Manager Protocols
– Maker Protocols
Manager protocols can be found in Letitia Baldridge’s book “EXECUTIVE MANNERS”. Maker protocols can be found via hashtags. As the third institution of Silicon Valley (along w YC and Stanfurdh:-), the hashtag #LarryChiang has 650 sub-hashtags. Also read Paul Graham’s “Maker Schedule versus Manager Schedule”
/4/ Point number four will cost you 1,111.11
PayPal this amount to 650-283-8008 at exactly 11:11 in your time zone or else I’ll reject payment. Remember, this is all stuff that they don’t teach you in school
Note: No, my fund, “Larry Chiang Stanford G51 Fund of Stanford Founders” does not need an intern. So, don’t ask
Admittedly, this article has been male focused. If you are a female and want to be a VC,
Just text me.
OMG that rhymed.
The great thing about females is that they don’t use their VC job to try to land puddy. Because misdirected deal flow is just lost leads.
Thanks for your 1111.11 payment, here is point number four
VCs ask me all the time for leads Re who to hire. Is that you? Text me
Be prepared to R2D2 regurgitate 
Download the official Twitter app here and set up your “#LTMVTA” so that I’ll see you are able to google “signature business recipes”. These recipes are subroutines. These subroutines are organized via hashtags

ENGR145’s got a hashtag #ENGR145. Engineering 145 sits under the Larry chiang hashtag. Engr 145, “Technology Entrepreneurship” has nearly two dozen hashtags I preview via two videos:
Extra credit #5/
VCs are mega clueless when it comes to sxsw. It’s a primary source of deal flow and distribution. Silicon Valley VCs hate being beta male in Austin Texas. Help a Peter Thiel, #HTGHFAOTR, and he would not have had to delay his book launch from March 8, 2014 to Sept 19
Yes, Peter got rejected by sxsw so he had to push back to September. Peter has “Founders Fund” and they invested in Lyft. Lyft is a competitor to Uber (cab)
Disclosure: There has been a Founders Fund partner at 28 of my career inflection points. 
This article has been admittedly male VC focused. If you’re a female VC, text me and I’ll just do whatever you ask (must be a VC at 15 of the top 10 VCs here 🙂
Larry Chiang says, “I love Starwood @spg #mmpqq

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: