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Haystack Management Company LLC

What’s in shorter supply is the judgment to sort through the flow quickly, to connect with founders in a real way and persuade them to work with you , and to put yourself in a position to win an allocation. I also don’t try to chase hot rounds. Quick example would be Initalized — they’re building software internally to help them manage deal flow and their portfolio. Or look at Sahil Lavingia, who is building a “progress tracker” for founders to know where they stand. Put this way, I’m surprised more firms haven’t built their own custom software.

I’d guess when they went into LPs, that cohesion was on display and it’s a story LPs can sell well internally, too. They also put their skin into the game early. So will those next great people move here? There’s writing of macro-political reasons. To answer your question, in a way I think it’s important that the innovative, the creators who come here from all over the world are divorced from reality a little bit because that gives them that creative license to go do that.

This is a type of signal they use to triangulate and see through the clouds, like instruments in an airline cockpit. I refer to this as “surround sound” or “echolocation.” For founders, the best way to leverage this is to have customers and users sing your praises for you. Seeding this activity is OK, too — perhaps a worthy endeavor in the fight for attention. That being said, every other month, I see lots of people joining the venture world with far less demonstrable aptitude than what you had. What they do have is they were in the right networks and went to the right schools. This is not even a matter of opinion.

California and the Bay Area had very strict lockdowns. That created all sorts of tension, and has shined a light on local governance, policies, how to cancel simplygram education, etc. in a way that’s pretty alarming. We had very close friends who just “tapped out,” to borrow a UFC term, of the Bay Area.

Alongside his role at Haystack, Semil is also a Venture Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners. Prior to founding Swell, Semil was on the operating side as an early advisor and employee at Concept.io , acquired by Apple in August 2014. I agree with this specific framing you present. Pre-lockdown, moving to the Bay Area is financially costly. Socially, it can be daunting, as it’s more segregated than outsiders may realize.

And we were just talking about failure and there are tons of venture capitalists who never see any success or never see what’s called carry, or the profit, basically. So I want to talk a little bit about what it means, what you actually do all day on a day-to-day level. I think listeners do but let’s say the LPs and funds or the founders who are going to those funds, the employees are employed by the companies that are fueled by venture capitalists. They don’t want to hear necessarily how some of it works. And so there’s a little game to play around that. I will just pick one for each to keep things brief.