Having your name on a list can carry a negative connotation. But there’s a new list that carries an increasing amount of credibility. If you’re not on it, you need to ask yourself why.
I’m talking about the list of all the venture firms that have cut back the size of their funds this year. With three more firms joining the club, the list totals nine VCs that have handed back nearly $3.2 billion to LPs.
Honestly, what is the logic for not reducing a $1 billion fund raised in 2000? You don’t want to give up the fees? With firms like Kleiner Perkins scaling back, you’re going to have to come up with some really compelling explanation if you don’t want to alienate your LPs.
With a staff as small as ours, it’s a pretty big deal when we bring someone new aboard. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Michael Copeland, a veteran newspaperman and former senior writer for Red Herring, joined us in June. Michael has a strong technology background and is a terrific writer. Keep an eye out for his byline.
Here’s one that makes my stomach churn. The annual Sand Hill Challenge, a soap-box race that raises money for charity, has been cancelled (see page 56). Seems the VC firms and large corporations (Microsoft, Compaq et. al.) that sponsored the event in the past can’t scrape up the $75,000 it costs to sponsor it. The 5-year-old event raises several hundred thousand dollars for programs that help disadvantaged teens. One of those programs, Plugged In, teaches teens about computers. After all the complaints from CEOs and others about the lack of a U.S. workforce skilled in technology, you’d think they’d be eager to help. It would be great to see a VC step up and write a check to get the event going again. Not only is it the right thing to do, it could only help improve the image of venture capitalists, who came off as a greedy lot during the dot-com boom and bust.