VCs want to blow you up, in one sense of the phrase or the other

By October 16, 2015Venture Capital

I love this from Paul Graham:

Plus founders who’ve just raised money are often encouraged to overhire by the VCs who funded them. Kill-or-cure strategies are optimal for VCs because they’re protected by the portfolio effect. VCs want to blow you up, in one sense of the phrase or the other. But as a founder your incentives are different. You want above all to survive.

Emphasis mine.

I’ve written ad nauseum about the dangers of raising too much money and premature scaling but I’m doing it again because it’s so common. It’s important also to recognise the misalignment between founder and VC interests. It’s tragic when good companies blow up in a bad way due to investor pressure, although at the end of the day the buck stops with the CEO.