Reid Hoffman, ex PayPal and founder of LinkedIn has joined Greylock as a partner as Greylock closes a $575 million new fund. This is good news for Valley Start ups as Reid has been an active angel for many years and has invested over $4 million on start ups including Facebook and Flickr. It is also good news because Reid has actually founded, built and sold companies himself. As he himself says,
“The current next generation of great V.C.’s will be folks who have a depth of operating experience, preferably even company-founding experience. It’s critical for being really helpful to entrepreneurs to actually have experienced the problems yourself.” Reid Hoffman
Well a big, ‘Duh!’ to that. This is probably not Reid’s most insightful comment of all time – he is a smart guy. The fact that he says it at all however is a sad indictment of the venture industry where for too long, too many smart people without operational experience have been ruling the lives of entrepreneurs that do. This is how it used to be, or how it was supposed to be but the VC industry forgot. This is even more true in Europe.
As the venture industry takes a long, hard, forced look at itself, it would do well to remember that part of the problem that it has created for the asset class is that there are too many VCs who don’t know how to build a business from the inside.
Reid is one of a number of Silicon Valley visitors to Cambridge in the third week of November. For information about how to apply to meet Reid and others in private (but free) round table workshops, go here.
Please note you need to apply before 7th November.