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Remember This Analogy When Pitching to a "Jr." Partner

Fund: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

Posted by ANON on 2008-06-15

PUBLIC:

Jr Partners are elephant hunters in a dense jungle with a bazooka with only one bullet. Something in the bushes makes a loud sound, the hunter swings around, aims and almost fires. But it's not an elephant, it's a wild turkey. Whew...

All entrepreneurs want to pitch to John Doerr, but it just ain't going to happen. You'll be delegated to an Ellen Pao or a Trae Vassallo or someone of the same junior status. That's the card you're dealt with, so stop bitching and start sharpening up your plan. These VCs are highly political organizations, complete with rank and hierarchy. They don't advertise it and they might even deny it (note: everyone is a Partner - how egalitarian of them), but it's there and it's thick. If you're a Jr. Partner, you want to bag an elephant. You better be damn honest with yourself about your plan and team. If it's not an elephant, it might as well be a turkey because you can be sure that the Juniors are not going to waste their one bullet on you. That's the only way they get respect, tenure, authority.

I've been the elephant and the turkey with Kleiner. Heed this advice.

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