Vinod Khosla is on stage right now at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, shamelessly working to appeal to the entrepreneurs who are either in attendance or watching a live stream of his “fireside chat,” with TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld.
To distance himself from the pack, he’s just said that “I object to being called a venture capitalist” and he’s insisting that he always has. (I’ve interviewed Khosla numerous times in the past, and I don’t remember his taking issue with being called a VC.) “I don’t like being like one of the VCs. I don’t much like the venture profession. I haven’t been to a [venture] conference in 15 years.”
The new language of Khosla Ventures is apparently “venture assistants,” because “it’s really about assisting entrepreneurs.” Also “banned from the partnership” is the word “deals.” It’s a relationship, people.
To other VCs, says Khosla, “everything is a deal to them. It’s not about building a great company. But that’s what entrepreneurs need. What they need more than money is help.”
I’m a longstanding fan of Khosla but this is a bit much. I think I saw even Schonfeld do an eye roll.
Far more palatable is his claim that “more than anything else I do, I spend my time recruiting” on behalf of Khosla Ventures’ portfolio companies. “I love strategizing with them, I love looking at tactics and doing operational reviews.”
“I don’t think that’s where most VCs spend their time,” adds Khosla.