You’ve got it easy

There’s a document floating around the Internet called “Day in a VC Life.” My colleague, Dan Primack, thought it so was funny that he posted it on It reads, in part:

  • 5:45 a.m. Alarm clock. Pick up Blackberry from nightstand, fire off an email to portfolio company CEO to demonstrate “round-the-clock” vigilance. Go back to sleep.
  • 8:30 a.m. Wake up. Decide whether to have breakfast in the kitchen, dining room, sunroom, veranda, or gazebo. Have “breakfast meeting” with Rex and Fido.
  • 10:30 a.m. Arrive at office, remark loudly that these breakfast meetings are killing you. It’s been ‘go, go, go’ all year. The pace is killing you. Makes you wish it was 2002 again.

The cat is out of the bag, Mr. and Mrs. VC. The general public has figured out that you have the easiest job in the world. One need only read the headlines in the current issue of VCJ to see just how easy you have it:

“Five ways to jump start your IRR.” Because exits via IPOs and trade sales have been lackluster since the dot-com bubble burst, you are spending more and more time figuring out creative ways to produce returns for your LPs. Not a problem. You have plenty of free time to learn the ins and outs of reverse mergers and alternative exchanges. Just cancel one of your weekly massage appointments.

“Another Shanghai surprise.” Exits were starting to heat up for Chinese portfolio companies, so much so that the Chinese government decided that “foreigners” were taking too much money out of the country. Chinese companies with hopes of going public on U.S. exchanges are now in a holding pattern. But it’s no big deal. Just cancel one of your five country club memberships to cover the cost of an attorney who specializes in Chinese regulations.

“Ariva remodels early stage VC.” Because VC has gotten so easy, the founders of Ariva have decided to share a bigger portion of carried interest with their venture partners. In fact, a recent survey by Glocap Search shows that GPs get less carry than they used to and their portion will continue to shrink. Again, not a problem for you because the sale of portfolio company to a secondary fund will produce at least a 20x return.

“Ridgelift fund takes nosedive.” Four experienced VCs raising a $200 million early stage tech fund found only enough interest for a fund half the size, so they pulled the plug. But, hey, you’re not worried about raising your next fund. Heck, you’re so rich that you don’t even need to raise another fund. VC is just one of your many hobbies.

Make sure that the current issue of VCJ falls into the hands of anyone who isn’t a VC. If they know just how easy your job is, then everyone will want to get into the game. —Lawrence Aragon