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What Georges Doriot Would Teach Engineers Who Are to Be VCs

by Larry Chiang on October 5, 2012

By Larry Chiang

Georges Doriot taught at Harvard Business School in the 50s. He was quoted by a lot of legendary VCs in the movie “Something Ventured”.

Here are 3 things he’d teach today’s engineer about to get their Stanford MBA / apply to the GSB

-1- How to Read (Tech Blogs)

Read obituaries in NY Times first = Georges Doriot advice.

Skip the Techmeme Apple stories, TechCrunch/VentureBeat/GigaOm VC funding headlines and regurgitation of vanity metrics. Crank through the deep-dives by googling a problem. Reading. Then solving that problem

-2- How many drinks to drink at a networking party

Georges Doriot advised drinking limited drinks at a party.

I recommend drinking zero and acting drunk. Act drunk using the Chubbock method. You do not need chemical to feel heady, disoriented, uninhibited and off-balance.

Can you call up drunkenness on command?! Can you go from drunk to 110% alert, sober and able to solve Fourier equations?! I can.

-3- Georges Doriot had one good VC investment.

None of his legendary students who as VCs bought into deals like Apple, Tandem, Intel, and Cisco ever cut Georges Doriot in on good deals.

What Georges Doriot would teach is to focus on making VC deals versus just teaching and hoping that teaching gets you deal flow.

OR don’t start an institution like Insead and just focus on teaching at HBS / making investments.

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It moves you to the right on the entrepreneur bell curve

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Emergency swings and cutting deals as an 9 year old

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