Atlas Blogger Says He’s Leaving VC

Healy Jones, an associate at Atlas Venture, says that he’s leaving the world of VC to enter the Boston tech scene. Jones joined Atlas in 2007, having previously worked as an associate at Summit Partners.

He explains his decision to leave at length in his blog, which he has been sharing with tech entrepreneur Prasad Thammineni.

Jones’ departure reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago with Kevin Chou, CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based startup Watercooler, a social networking site that connects fans of sports teams and TV shows. Chou had previously been an associate for more than two years at Canaan Partners, which is the sole venture backer of his company.

At the time that we chatted, I remarked that there had been some high-profile examples of VCs leaving the industry to enter tech. For example, Charles Teague had left General Catalyst Partners, where he had been a technologist-in-residence, and Jon Miller, a partner at Velocity Interactive Group, became News Corp.’s new head of digital media.

And just this week, Dan reported that David Danielson is leaving venture firm General Catalyst Partners to join the U.S. Department of Energy.

Chou agreed that maybe the VC industry has lost some of its cachet, especially since the economic downturn began in earnest late last year.

But Chou said that there’s no mass exodus taking place. Seeing VCs leave to enter tech is a good trend, he said.

“If they’re talented and experienced, they can make a great mark as entrepreneurs. And if they’re young VCs, then they should go gain some real world operating experience. As an entrepreneur, I can tell you there’s nothing more frustrating than working with VCs who have no tech experience,” Chou said.