How do I improve feedback to entrepreneurs? It’s a question that I roll around in my head often.
I’ve always regarded sitting at the table with an entrepreneur to be a great privilege. Almost every day, I sit down with a founder who has dedicated months if not years to achieving a vision. We chat and talk about the strengths of the business and the foreseeable challenges. We exchange data points on industries and the landscape. Having been on the other side of the table, I know the feeling. Pitching requires baring your soul a bit: your passion, dreams and ambition.
As a VC, the very least I can do is to provide timely feedback. When I worked in customer support, we were assigned 24 hour turn-around-times. Every email had to be returned in 24 hours. I’ve set myself the same goal at Redpoint.
The most important thing I can do is to provide honest, candid feedback. Finding the most productive form of that feedback is tough. Last week, I asked a few friends who are entrepreneurs and one told me, “Frame the feedback as a hypothesis I need to prove before you’ll consider an investment.” Simple, effective and brilliant. So I’ve adopted this line of thinking when responding to entrepreneurs.
Let me know how a VC might improve feedback to entrepreneurs. Am I missing some key things?