We Got Sad Angels and Mad Angels, But Not So Many Glad Angels After Boston Angel Dinner

AngelGate East it isn’t. Everyone seems to agree on that. But that is where the unanimity stops, at least if you are following the debate playing out on venture capitalist Rob Go’s blog about a Boston area angel and seed-stage investor dinner last week. Go’s post—“Sad Observations From a Boston Angel Dinner“—drew the ire of at least two attendees, Lead Dog Ventures’ John Landry and Steve Kane, another angel who is also CEO of Full Circle Media. Landry and Kane both posted some heartfelt responses.

Taken as a whole, the exchange at least shines a light on some opinions in the area about Boston angels—whether they are right or not, is another matter. I encourage you to read the full debate on Go’s blog. But here are some snippets from his post from Thursday, the day after the dinner, and the comments it drew to whet your appetite ahead of Thanksgiving.

From Go, co-founder and partner at micro-VC firm NextView Ventures, who is now trying to raise a seed fund himself (emphasis his):

“The conversation was far too lame…But here’s the really SAD thing about this discussion. Much of the conversation was so DEFENSIVE – e.g.:

“How do we protect ourselves from getting crammed down by VC’s?”

“How do we make money when the potential for blockbuster outcomes are low?”

“How do we invest when it’s so frothy?”

Go continued a bit later:

A lot of time was spent belaboring the point that venture capital is so challenging as an asset class. The mean return of venture was quoted several times.

Guess what, I don’t care. We are not an index fund, and our goal is not to be average. I want to spend time figuring out a way to invest in and help build a disproportionate % of the extraordinary companies. Instead, I heard a lot more complaining about how to make more money in non-extraordinairy deals.

Go, who declined to comment for this post, saying he preferred to reply in writing in his comment thread, as he has been doing, might have left himself open to criticism with this line: “And maybe I’m just too young and naive, but I actually think that as a seed investor, I do have the chance to invest in the transformative businesses of tomorrow.”

Among those weighing in on Go’s comment stream was Dharmesh Shah, … Next Page »

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