Forgive us for dwelling on it, but there were just so many great moments in our fireside chat with Fred Wilson last week. It was really one of my favorites this year. And two of my favorite moments were about the venture capital business.
Wilson — a man known for his strong opinions — was at his most rabid on the topic of corporate VCs. “I am never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to do that again,” he said. Adding in one more “ever!” just in case we didn’t quite get it. He explains why in the clip above, and notes that Intel Capital and Google Ventures might be two exceptions to his rule. But those two aside, Wilson says it’s repeatedly gone so badly in the past that it might be the one thing that makes him leave a board in the future. (He’s not the first to throw mud at corporate VCs on this site…)
[Update: Wilson later apologized and clarified his remarks on his blog.]
This exclamation aside, Wilson spoke elsewhere in the evening about how he was at a disadvantage as a VC when it comes to giving a lot of advice, because he never had operating experience. It took him longer to learn how to excel as a board member as a result and says he wouldn’t recommend his particular career path to those wanting to break into venture capital.
There’s just one benefit to his lack of operating experience, he says: He will never assume he can do a better job than the CEO. “I have a lot of respect for the job the CEO is doing, and I don’t personally feel that I could do it better,” he says.
Huge thanks to Wilson for sitting down with us. If you’re in San Francisco, there are still tickets available to this week’s fireside chat with Github founder Tom Preston-Werner. We’d love to see you there!