Vinod Khosla: “ I Don’t Much Like the Venture Profession”

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.