Draper, Wilson, Khosla, Doerr. Names we all rightly and deservedly think of when we hear a venture capitalist referred to as “legendary.” A quick search of major publications since the early 1960s will yield another 20 or so distinguished individuals referred to as legendary. But what about the rest of the hard-working men and women in venture capital? Don’t they deserve to be legendary also?
Unconfirmed Snapchat rumor has it this was the subject of much debate on Friday night as one General Partner (GP), two Venture Partners (VPs), and one Associate sat down for a beer and sliders at the local trendy and overpriced tap room.
GP: “Look, I’ve never been referred to as legendary. I’ve been in this industry for 20 plus years, this is the fourth fund I’ve put together, my LPs love me, and all my funds are top quartile. Next time any reporter calls me, or we do any press releases on any of our portfolio companies I’m insisting on it. I’m legendary or nothing goes out.”
VP1: “Yes. I totally agree. But what is the cutoff? GP only? 10 years in the industry? Two, three public exits? What? I mean we all work hard here. Really it should just be a common courtesy from the press to anyone in the industry. It’s like saying Mr. Jones. You don’t just say Jones.”
VP2: “I think we should just formally change the common titles we all use at venture firms. This is our own fault. The industry needs to set its own norm here. We simply add the legendary term as part of the official title. So we’d have Legendary General Partner, or LGP. And then also of course LVP.”
Associate: “I’m going to get another beer.”
At this time we cannot be certain if the Associate in question was actually the original source of the above dialogue, or if it even took place. However the debate on legendary VC status has, since yesterday, dominated Twitter, and is now shaping up to be the biggest core VC rights issue since Assured Unreachability in the late 90s.
Update: Several sources are now reporting that many venture firms delayed their normal Monday morning partner meetings to discuss this issue. Additionally, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) will issue a press release on the matter shortly, and is expected to publish clear and definitive guidelines by early next year.