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Video interview with Mark Suster, Partner at GRP Partners Mark Suster is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies. You can find Mark @ his blog Both Sides of the Table & on Twitter @msuster
This is PtIV, you can find PtI Women & Venture: It’s a Number’s Game here and PtII Women Entrepreneurial DNA here and Pt III Getting Funded & Integrity.
Transcript follows & video below:
  • You mentioned in one blog post The Danger of Crocodile Sales a while back that venture capitalists are often a certain typology on the Myers Briggs Indicator.  Often advice for sourcing venture is equated with dating, implying that there is a matching that has to happen with an entrepreneur & investor.  What do you think are the key ingredients that need to exist between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs that promote attraction & synergy between them to develop a great startup?  Do you think there is a certain typology that would be linked with entrepreneurs, if we generalized?

I think all types of entrepreneurs can succeed.  I think the most classic entrepreneur is an ENTP. But some of the most successful entrepreneurs are actually an I (Introvert).  I don’t know whether they are an INTP or INTJ?  I think some of the more successful, thoughtful people are actually introverted. I think it would be hard to argue that the founders of Google or Eric Schmidt or any of those people are extroverted.  Or that Mark  Zuckerburg?

I couldn’t remember what typology you said that most venture capitalists were?

I think almost all of them are ENTPs. So just in case anyone doesn’t follow Myers Briggs  typology or whatever you want to call it.  They tend to be extroverted, talkers more than thinkers, not to say that they don’t think but they talk. They tend to be intuitive.  They are also highly analytical, but I think they tend to be talkers, thinkers, dominators, type A personalities.  They tend to have gone to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton.  They tend to have gone to Harvard Business School or Stanford Business School.  They fit a very typical profile.  I’m not arguing that’s a good thing, I’m just arguing that’s probably reality.

That’s the venture capitalist profile and the entrepreneur’s are similar is what you’re saying?  Is that right?

You get a balance, you’d probably get more extroverted than introverted. But in particular these days with most tech companies have technical founders I think you get more people that are analytical as opposed to intuitive.  I think you tend to get more people that are slightly more inwardly facing than externally facing.

So what I’m hearing is that there’s some combination of opposites between the venture capitalists & the entrepreneurs & some similarities so obviously they can work together?  Would you agree with that then?

Yes that’s fair to say.

Mark thanks so much for this time & all this feedback.  It’s always so informative for me reading your blog posts or speaking to you.  Thank you so much, appreciate it.

Thank you, appreciate you setting it up.

Check out some related posts on my other blog:

extrovert or introvert matches

Review of Dateline’s Relationship Assessment

Rules of Attraction

Thanks to Alexander Blu for music ‘Concert’

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About the author

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher & Event Producer. She is Executive Producer of Smart Money Silicon Valley: Network with & Learn from Silicon Valley Investors! & NoPanels: Engage Directly with Investors & Industry Leaders; VCHangout: hangout with Investors! & PitchPerfect Silicon Valley: Craft your Pitch for Funding! She video interviews venture capitalists & angel investors EZebis: Winning the Venture Game! She is based in Silicon Valley & has been involved in online business for 10 years. She has been in small business for 39 years in Ireland, London, Canada & Australia. She also published a free ebook (the findings of 1 year research with vcs, angels & women founders) “Why are Women Funded Less than Men? a crowdsourced conversation” available on Scribd.

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