You Don’t Say

I cannot profess to know Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway, but I do know this – he’s made more than his share of smart bets and cold cash over the years with his early stage tech investments. This headline in Venture Beat certainly caught my eye – “Ron Conway: Third-rate VCs are paying off entrepreneurs.” Matt Marshall did a little piece on Conway’s recent assertion, which took place in the form of a video interview with Kara Swisher during allthingsd. He’s interviewed by Swisher and comments about a range of investment topics, including what’s hot in his neck of the woods: no surprises – content, video (and the monetization of), social networks. He waxes about how frothy things are now in tech. Silicon Valley investment activity is “the highest it has ever been …triple what it was in 1999,” Conway notes. But the real story here is Ron sounding off on what he characterizes as sleazy tactics by those VCs occupying the low end of the investment food chain (i.e. not Kleiner or Sequoia). Without naming any names he talks about how “third tier VCs” are bribing entrepreneurs to get them to take their money. While I thought his accusation was interesting, if not pretty wimpy because he’s indicting the system vs. the allegedly guilty individual (reminds me of the major league baseball steroid discussion), I’m thinking – if things are so good, why does he even care about what the no name VCs are doing? Last point – Swisher needs to listen a bit better and stop interrupting her interviewees. (“Like a payoff???? – how eloquent)”

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