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Manners for Entrepreneurs

by Larry Chiang on July 4, 2015

Larry Chiang (@LarryChiang)
10 Manners for Entrepreneurs that are super AMERICAN

We have won back-to-back world wars. So here are American entrepreneur manners in America.
1/ we leave a VC coffee if the VC shows up more than 10 minutes late. 
The coffee that you begged for, is first priority for you. (Gosh that institutional money validation would feel great.) To the VC, they prioritize you super low if they show up at 2:20 for a 2:00 Coupa cafe coffee. 
2/ big, big manner to have. 
EFFEN say thank you, excuse me and sorry. A lot of foreign people had to screw over a lot of people to get here to Silicon Valley. Many foreign people will royally eff up. Then, often do not own up. 
/3/ Manners when rsvp-ing.
Maybe you got recruited to that ivy. But here in Silicon Valley, everyone is the best-of-the-best. So, have some extra courtesy when rsvp-ing. Invitations are a form of distribution 
/4/ manners while showing up
Bring. Something.
/5/ gossip. 
Have American manners by never gossiping. I’m mentoring you to never gossip because analysis leads to paralysis. I can list out analyst founder success on two fingers and my goodness, I know everyone. 
Never gossip because it is a form of “arm chair quarterbacking”. It leads to paralysis too. 
6/ gossip about ideas and methods. 
Small people snipe about other people. Entrepreneurs gossip about execution. 
7/ Manners in dealing with people who are INTERNAL DELIVERABLE focused. 
External deliverables grow your startup “doing things that don’t scale”. Internal deliverables are gossip made public during internal company meetings. What’s worse, the meeting causes more meetings about meetings. And side-discussions about people behind their back. 
The only polite method is just to re-focus the entrepreneur conversation to be “external deliverables”

/8/ Be beta. 

I bussed tables at a casual Palo Alto, entrepreneurship mixer. The social dynamics are too complicated for me to really understand. But, I can guess it works because in a Silicon Valley full of alpha males. The beta male rules. 

/9/ Manners in promoting. 

If your friends friend is promoting a startup with a party. Promote that party. 

/10/ Manners in paying. 

You can’t have gone to a college that charged you $200k and plead poverty. You’re going to need to fundraise a $500 / month slush fund. So, you can execute the manners #7-#10


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