An Argument Across the Internet: Startups, VCs and Lifestyle

I love watching an argument unfold across the Internet. Here’s a thread that bounced from evangelist-loudmouth-romanticizer to startup engineer to VC where everyone’s right and everyone’s a bit wrong too.

• “You might be sad that you work long hours and that sometimes your boss yells at you when tensions run high. But you also know that there is nowhere on earth like Silicon Valley…. There’s so much money in Silicon Valley now that a lot of non-like minded people have rolled in. Looking for easy stock options at a hot startup. They start whining when they realize that they have to give so much to make it all work.” — Michael Arrington

• “He’s trying to make the point that the only path to success in the software industry is to work insane hours, sleep under your desk, and give up your one and only youth, and if you don’t do that, you’re a pussy. He’s using my words to try and back up that thesis.

“I hate this, because it’s not true, and it’s disingenuous.

“What is true is that for a VC’s business model to work, it’s necessary for you to give up your life in order for him to become richer.” — Jamie Zawinski

• “I don’t know Jamie’s history with VCs, so I won’t speculate. But his post got me thinking about the contrast in perception vs. the reality of VC economics.

“The underlying assertion Jamie makes is that VCs stand to make far more money than certain employees when and if a company has a positive liquidity event (acquisition or IPO). So, let’s test that assertion with a simple sample case for today’s market.” — Bryce Roberts