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投资理财 - 风险投资

风投缘何重“猪”轻“鸡”

Jeff Bussgang 2011年09月14日

世间有两种类型的企业家:鸡型和猪型。我们喜欢后者。

    关于早餐,有一则古老的寓言,内容如下:当一盘火腿和鸡蛋摆在鸡和猪面前时,鸡或许饶有兴趣,而猪已然欣喜若狂。

    最近,我一直在思考这则关于鸡和猪的寓言,并由此想到成功企业家所具有的特性。具有这种特性的企业家往往是大多数风投公司,尤其是我所在的公司所青睐的对象。用一句话来概括,我们喜欢和猪打交道:这种一心为企业未来着想的企业家往往愿意承担风险,甚至破釜沉舟。

    如何区分这两种类型的企业家?大多数情况下比较容易,但有时候比较难。具有如下特质的企业家们往往会在创业的时候做出类似于“鸡型”企业家的举动。

    1) 更倾向于在收到投资之后开始创业 (“只要能拿到钱,一切就可以开始了”…嗯,这么说是不是我不给你钱你就不开公司了?)

    2)没拿到投资前仍干老本行。(“这一年来我一直把这个当副业做,我恨不得马上就能把它作为主业来干” …嗯,如果你都等不急了,那为什么还要等?)

    3)创业之时不愿把自己或团队搬迁至同一地区。【想想爱德瓦多•萨维林在电影《社交网络》(The Social Network)中在纽约渡过了整个夏天】

    4)更倾向于以主席一职自封,对公司不闻不问,或者第一时间聘请首席运营官/总裁,而不是由自己来担任首席执行官/总裁一职全权负责公司事务。(为不伤及无辜,故不逐一举例。但是,作为经验之谈,员工不足40人的公司并不需要首席运营官)

    5)聘请员工,筹措资金以及拓展业务不愿意充分利用个人的社会关系和职场人脉。

    另一方面,“猪型”企业家所具有的5大特性就是:

    There is an old parable about commitment when it comes to breakfast. The story goes that when looking at a plate of ham and eggs, it's obvious that the chicken is an interested party, but the pig is truly committed.

    Lately I've been thinking about the parable of the pig and the chicken in the context of characteristics that make a great entrepreneur -- and the kind of entrepreneur that we VCs in general, and my firm in particular, like to back. In short, we like to back pigs: Entrepreneurs who are truly and completely committed to the outcome of their venture, have a lot of stake, and no fallback.

    How do we discern the difference between the two entrepreneurial archetypes? It's usually relatively easy, but sometimes subtle. Here are a few of the top characteristics we see in entrepreneurs who appear to be exhibiting behavior that suggests they're more like "chickens" when it comes to their start-up:

    1) Prefer to wait to start their venture only after they receive funding ("We are ready to go, as soon as you give us your money." ...um, does that mean you won't start the company if I don't give you my money?).

    2) Don't quit their day jobs before receiving funding. ("This has been a side project for a year, and I can't wait to focus on it full-time" ... um, if you can't wait - why are you waiting?)

    3) Don't physically move themselves or their teammates to be in the same geography when starting their venture (think Eduardo Severin in The Social Network spending his summer in NYC).

    4) Prefer to play a hands-off chairman role or look to quickly hire a COO/president in the early days rather than operate as the hands-on CEO/president. (I'll leave out the numerous examples to protect the innocent but, as a rule of thumb, companies with fewer than 40 employees don't typically need a COO).

    5) Are unwilling to fully leverage their own personal and professional networks to drive recruiting, fundraising and business development.

    On the other hand, the top five characteristics we see in "pig" entrepreneurs:

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