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风投行业三大敲门金砖

Alex Taussig 2012年02月20日

我保证,如果能主动提议引荐一名企业家,风投公司给你回电话的几率就会大大提高。

    每年这个时候,每周一般都有2-3个希望进军风投行业的在校大学生或应届毕业生邀请我“喝咖啡”。我发现自己总是一次次给出相同的建议(其他人似乎也一样),因此,我决定把它们放到博客上,提供一点指导。

#1. 构建正交人际网络,掌握有利人脉。

    新人在风投公司中的价值在于他或她通常拥有一个相对于公司而言的正交(这里意味着没有重叠)网络。除非合伙人只是要找能执行交易的人(也可能确实存在这样的情况),通常他们真正要找的是能带来新交易的人。

    这意味着你需要立即开始构建一个正交网络。考虑一下自己的独特优势:你在哪里长大,在哪里学习,在哪里工作,以及年龄等等。正如畅销书作家马尔科姆•格拉德威尔在《异类》(Outliers)中所讲的一样:“我们是谁与我们是从哪里来的密不可分。”利用你来自哪里作为你的优势吧。

2. 深入了解风投领域,形成自己的见解

    科技最奇妙的地方在于新事物层出不穷,没人能完全看懂。我们支持的一位首席执行官不久前告诉我说,一名应聘者自称“有4年的iOS开发经验”,对此他是这样回复的:“要么你在撒谎,要么你是史蒂夫•乔布斯。”因为当时iOS出现的时间也不过3年。

    开始关注目标行业的所有博客,了解业内最重要的公司。(使用老一套的借口——“我是名学生”)与这个领域的企业家攀谈,询问他们同谁竞争以及他们如何看待市场的演变。培养对行业的洞察力,其中一半来自于搜集市场资料,一半要靠自己。

3. 带上“见面礼”

    就像希腊人一样,如果想敲开特洛伊城的大门,带上礼物无疑会有帮助。风投行业屡试不爽的做法是引荐出色的企业家。带着前面第一、第二项的成果,再加上一些企业家资源,就可以去心仪的风投公司碰碰运气了。

    我保证,如果能主动提议引荐一名企业家,风投公司给你你回电话的几率就会大大提高。60%的情况下,这种做法都会奏效

    最后,祝大家找工作顺利。如果你在风投行业找到了工作,也请告诉我。我会很高兴地欢迎你加入这一行。

    本文作者艾力克斯•陶西格现任高地资本合伙公司(Highland Capital Partners)负责人,投资早期科技公司。读者可以在他的个人博客网站ataussig.com上读到这篇文章以及更多的内容。

    It's that time of year when I get about 2-3 weekly requests to meet for "coffee" with current students or recent grads who want to get into venture capital. I've found myself giving the same advice time and time again (as have others), so I decided to write a quick post with a few words of guidance.

#1. Build an orthogonal network

    The value of a junior person at a venture firm is that he or she often has an orthogonal (meaning, in this case, non-redundant) network, compared to the aggregate of the firm. Unless a partner is looking for someone to simply execute on his own deal flow (which can be the case), that partner is really looking for someone who can bring in net new deals.

    What that means is that you need to start building an orthogonal network immediately. Think about your unique advantage: Where you grew up, where you studied, where you worked, how old you are, etc. As Malcolm Gladwell says in Outliers, "Who we are can not be separated from where we're from." Use where you're from to your advantage.

#2. Build an expertise and develop an opinion

    The wonderful thing about technology is that something new is always popping up that no one fully understands. We backed a CEO who told me a little while ago that someone applied to his company with "4 years of iOS development experience," to which he responded: "Either you're lying, or you're Steve Jobs." iOS had only existed for 3 years at that point.

    Start following all the blogs in your industry of interest and get to know all the key players. Talk to entrepreneurs in that space (use the old "I'm a student" excuse) and ask them who they compete with and how they see the market evolving. Develop an insight that is 50% gleaned from the market and 50% your own.

#3. Come bearing gifts

    Like the Greeks, if you want to open the gates of Troy, it's helpful to come bearing gifts. The currency of the venture industry is introductions to exciting entrepreneurs. Take the results of #1 and #2 and generate a source of warm leads for a couple VCs you want to work with.

    I guarantee that an offer to introduce an entrepreneur will get a higher hit rate in terms of VCs returning your call. 60% of the time, it works every time.

    So, happy job hunting. And if you land a job in the venture industry, let me know. I'd enjoy welcoming you to the fold.

    Alex Taussig is a Principal with Highland Capital Partners and invests in early stage technology companies. You can find this blog post, as well as additional content on his blog ataussig.com. You can also follow Alex on Twitter @ataussig.

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