Scaling Is Hard (For Subprime VC)

Georges van Hoegaerden
Georges van Hoegaerden
Founder, Author, and Managing Director of methodEVA.

Singing is hard too. American Idol’s job is to find people who can sing, not to teach singing. And VCs should look for entrepreneurs who can scale, not to teach them how to.

CNN Money yesterday published an article from Jeff Bussgang, general partner at venture capital firm Flybridge Capital Partners, about how hard it is to scale a company.

I need to respond to these articles because it deflects from the real problem with innovation in our country. And that is that under cover of the purported voodoo of innovation, we refuse to hold the financial system, its arbitrage, responsible for the subprime mediocrity it perpetuates.

We have plenty of leadership capacity that allows companies to scale (Facebook, Twitter,, Oracle, Apple, etc.) and at the ready when Venture Capitalists come off their subprime pedestal.

So, here is my response to the article to set Jeff straight:

Yawn, another article from a VC hoping to educate people to become entrepreneurs. Venture is just like American Idol, you find quality – you don’t teach singing. People either have the talent or they do not.

And Jeff’s article(s) reminds me of the desperate Moms who keeps pushing their child to sing, even though when they open their mouth, we all recognize they can’t.

Not everybody can be an entrepreneur, but an entrepreneur can come from anywhere. The quest is to find prime, not teach the subprime.

But the real issue in Venture is that Venture Capitalists have not found a way to scale themselves in line with an 80% adoption greenfield and more quality entrepreneurial capacity than ever before. VCs are being beaten and disproven in their assessment of best practices by corporates left and right.

With negative returns on the whole for Limited Partners and perhaps a handful of VCs (out of the 790 post 911 dead weights) making any money monolithically and systemically for LPs, not the quality of entrepreneurial capacity is in question, but the arbitrage of that innovation deployed by VC.

So, if Jeff was a wise man he would write an article that describes how Venture Capitalists can scale to detect and entice the entrepreneurial capacity they currently discard as false negatives. And instead explain why Venture Capitalists, with so many diversifications built-in, cannot seem to outperform corporate innovation.

The sign of an intelligent nation is its willingness and ability to reinvent itself, upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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