Brad’s post was about not taking computers or other devices into board meetings in order to avoid the temptation of doing email instead of participating properly in the conversation. I couldn’t agree more with this – he is spot on when he says that it is impossible to do email and participate properly at the same time and also when he says that it is really hard to stop yourself after a quick scan of email.
Fred’s post was about how he likes getting out and meeting companies, doing deep dives with them into product and product roadmap, and also spending time explaining about venture capital and how it can helop a business.
For me these are two small parts of a larger point which is that VCs should behave like any other good professional. That means being courteous, showing people the respect you hope to get back, and being diligent in taking the time to stay up to date with the companies you have invested in. It always bugs me when a person acts like his time is more important than anyone elses, and that is as true of VCs as it is for the rest of the world.
So, as Fred says, that means taking time out to deep dive on the things that are most important to your companies (and as he also says that is often the most fun part of the job). And, as Brad says, it means not doing email when you are supposed to be in a meeting. But it also goes beyond that to turning up for meetings on time, being accessible by phone and email, providing as much transparency as possible into your funds strategy and decision making process and generally treating others as you would like to be treated yourself.