Holy Ron Conway: The Old Guard Smacks Down the New

Tonight, TechCrunch was leaked what may be the most shocking email that I’ve ever read, and I’m guessing many Valley watchers will feel the same.

Over the now famous Bin 38 dinner, Ron Conway — Silicon Valley’s best-known seed-stage investor and a mentor and inspiration to many of the angel and seed-stage investors to emerge on the scene in recent years — has just severed ties with many of them. 

In a note to the investors who attended the dinner, including Dave McClure, Bryce Roberts of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and David Lee of SV Angel, Conway’s fund, he writes, among other things:

I think you have a different value set and lets agree to disagree and not have to even engage in any idle chit chat or discussion of any sort….ever.

Furhermore, I regret David Lee was involved in the gatherings. I am sure he does too.

We talked about the first dinner and I encouraged him to write the email above and withdraw….I know he was uncomfortable with both gatherings….where no one was there to speak up for the interests of the entrepenuers.

By now you are rolling your eyes and saying “Ron’s a ___________(fill in the blank) ….and who is he to pass judgement…..

We are all entitled to our opinions.

I am just being honest and transparent….the way most of the entrepenuers I invest are…

I wish the Angel community could have the same integrity and values of the entrepenuer community, but unfortunately I now believe that is hopeless and your actions prove that.

What do you think the entrepenuers you have funded are thinking right now.

This is despicable and embarrassing for the tech community in my opinion.
Can you learn from this ?

Please keep this confidential even though I know that will be hard since two of you let your egos take over and show Arrington how important you are by telling him you were headed to a “secret” angel gathering.

Dave McCLure…pls try not to blog about this and cause silicon valley more embarrassment with your unprofessional classless writings

That the email was leaked probably isn’t coming as a shock to Conway, given Silicon Valley’s hothouse atmosphere, particularly of late.

Conway’s motives aren’t entirely clear, however. I’m not sure if his ire stems from righteous indignation at the behavior of his peers; a desire to insulate himself from a potentially damaging controversy; or if he sees an opportunity to market himself to entrepreneurs who may feel alienated by Monday night’s events and their ensuing coverage.

Maybe it’s all three; maybe it’s none of the above. One thing is for certain; when it comes to angels, birds of a feather are no longer sticking together.